Todd Gurley is just 25 years old. Two seasons ago, he was the NFL’s offensive player of the year, and he was an First-Team All-Pro again in 2018.
Today, he was released by the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams have been in a tough salary cap situation, with quarterback Jared Goff and defensive lineman Aaron Donald among those demanding huge salaries. Gurley was the Rams’ top offensive player for most of his time in St. Louis and LA, but the tough reality for the modern running back is hard to overcome.
Across town, fellow star back Melvin Gordon is struggling to find a team to reach the eight-digit contract offers that he thought he’d get when he held out last fall. Now, Gurley is unexpectedly hitting the open market. Less than two years ago, he signed a four-year, $60 million deal with $45 million guaranteed. Of course, NFL contracts are among the least secure in sports.
Making this move today frees up some serious money for the franchise. Tom Pelissero reports that as of now, the Rams will have paid just $34.5 million of the $60 million that he signed with the deal. Todd Gurley became the highest paid running back in the league when the deal was signed.
A portion of that roster bonus tomorrow ($2.5 million) is subject to offsets, meaning if Gurley signs elsewhere, the #Rams can get some of the money back. As it stands now, L.A. will have paid $34.5M on the extension he signed in July 2018.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2020
Gurley shouldn’t have a major issue finding work, albeit at a reduced price tag. He was probably the best running back in the sport for at least a year or two, and is still very young.
Injuries are a major concern, and probably preclude him for getting record money again. They plagued him during his career at Georgia, and has been hampered by them throughout his pro career. He only managed 10 carries for 35 yards during Super Bowl LIII, a 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots. Last fall, he ran for a career low 857 yards and just 3.8 yards per carry. He added 207 yards as a pass catcher and did find the end zone 14 times total.
We’ll see where he ends up. We’re not lacking for huge NFL moves this week.