John Elway Says Broncos Might Explore Potential Von Miller Trade in Offseason

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2019

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 15:  Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos in action during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  The Browns defeated the Broncos 17-16.  (Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)
Rob Leiter/Getty Images

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway isn't ruling out the possibility of trading superstar pass-rusher Von Miller this offseason.

According to Jon Heath of USA Today's Broncos Wire, Elway didn't label Miller as untouchable when asked about potentially trading him during the team's end-of-season press conference: "I think we're going to visit all that. I think we have to look at all the possibilities and get an evaluation of that."

Miller enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2018 with 48 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception en route to being named a Pro Bowler and Second Team All-Pro.

While Elway acknowledged that Miller had a strong year, he also expressed his belief that the seven-time Pro Bowler can be even better: "We're trying to evaluate what went on and then find solutions. One of the solutions is that we're going to need our core guys to play better. Von, he had a good year this year. Can Von play better? Yeah, I think Von can play better. That's part of the new thing when that comes in with the next coach."

Denver has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons, and it is a team in transition after firing head coach Vance Joseph on the heels of a 6-10 finish in 2018.

The 29-year-old Miller is a potential future Hall of Famer, and the 2011 No. 2 overall draft pick is first on the team's all-time sacks list with 98.0.

Because of that, trading him may not be a popular decision.

A few factors could make it worth while, though, for a team that is looking to become a contender once again in the AFC.

For starters, the return would likely be huge. If the Oakland Raiders' trade of Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears is any indication, Denver would probably land multiple first-round picks.

Also, the Broncos have a burgeoning, young pass-rusher in Bradley Chubb, who had 12.0 sacks as a rookie in 2018.

If he continues on his current upward trend, Chubb could be Miller's replacement, and Denver could use draft picks acquired in a Miller trade to fill holes elsewhere.

The Broncos' biggest issue is quarterback, as they haven't found a quality option under center since Peyton Manning retired.

Case Keenum was average at best in his first season with the Broncos in 2018, so finding a replacement in the draft may be on Elway's agenda.

Bundling picks in a Miller trade to move up would potentially allow Denver to get the quarterback they covet, but doing so may be possible even without giving up Miller since few teams picking high in the draft this year have an obvious need at quarterback.