Von Miller, Rams mutually interested in 2022 return

Von Miller closed out the season proving there's still good tread on his tires. There's a real chance his football ride will continue in Los Angeles.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that there is mutual interest in Miller returning to the Rams. While the future Hall of Famer is expected to command a big payday, Rapoport noted that L.A. intends to do everything it can to bring him back.

The Rams just won't be the only team making Miller an offer. Ahead of Super Bowl LVI, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the veteran outside linebacker was open to re-signing but wanted to fully explore the open market first. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has never been a free agent before.

His brief time in L.A. has already proven to be mutually beneficial. The Rams traded second- and third-round picks to the Broncos midway through this past season and it paid almost immediate dividends. After working his way back from an ankle injury, Miller recorded five sacks and eight tackles for loss over the final four regular-season games. In the playoffs, he added four more sacks and six tackles for loss while forming a devastating pass-rush duo alongside Aaron Donald.

The Rams couldn't have more motivation to sign the star defender. A few days after their Super Bowl triumph, Donald addressed retirement rumors by declaring he wanted Miller and Odell Beckham back to ensure his own return.

"We bring everybody back, I'm back," Donald said.

The best defensive player of the past decade is expected to be either way. Though Donald has not yet firmly committed to playing in 2022, Rapoport reported that the Rams believe he will. They're taking a proactive approach to secure as much, holding discussions with Donald about a raise despite three years left on his current deal.

Coach Sean McVay called that initiative an "incredibly high priority" earlier this week, along with an extension for Matthew Stafford, adding that he anticipates the two players coordinating with the front office to carve out agreements that will help the franchise remain as competitive as possible.

Rapoport reported that there's still work to do before Donald's new deal is finalized, but it's expected to happen, and it's created momentum toward his return. That, in turn, creates momentum toward the reigning champs running it back.

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