The Los Angeles Rams announced the release of Todd Gurley on Thursday afternoon, and the former Pro-Bowl running back had a funny, very Friday-esque response to the team’s move.
The Ringer immediately got the cinematic reference and responded with this gif in the comments section:
Several others piggybacked on Gurley and The Ringer’s tweet:
Explaining Gurley’s Friday Reference
For the 10 or 12 of you who haven’t seen Friday, Gurley is making reference to Chris Tucker’s character, known as Smokey in the film, being fired from his job on his day off. So the story goes, the manager had him on video “stealing some boxes or something.”
The iconic film is packed with phrases that have become commonplace in urban America.
Gurley Won’t Be Out of Work for Long
Gurley is still just 25 years old. He’s a former Associated Press Player of the Year and three-time Pro-Bowler. It’s unlikely he’ll be out of work long. He came to the NFL with some injury concerns out of Georgia, but he’s only missed seven regular-season games in five years in the league.
Take a look at the stats and awards Gurley has accumulated in his five-year NFL career.
- 5,404 Rushing Yards
- 58 TDs
- 4.3 Yards per Carry
- 219 Pass Receptions
- 2,090 Receiving Yards
- 2 Receiving TDs
- 3 Pro Bowls
- 2 All-Pro Teams
- 2015 Associated Press Rookie of the Year
- 2017 Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year
Even with that impressive resume, a new team may be wary of committing a long-term deal considering he’s been such a workhorse in the NFL and is approaching the age of 27 when running backs notoriously begin to decline.
Still, Gurley’s production and the decent time he has left before he should begin to show some decline has to be attractive to a potential suitor.
How Could the Rams Let a Player Like Gurley Walk for Free?
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell breaks down the cap-strapped Rams predicament that led to Gurley’s release:
If the Rams didn’t cut or trade him by 4 p.m. ET, his $5.5 million base salary for 2020 and his $5 million roster bonus for 2021 were both going to fully guarantee. The Rams would have been on the hook for that $17.2 million cap hit in 2020 and would have owed him at least that $5 million in 2021. Instead, the Rams will owe $20.2 million in dead money on their cap for 2015 first-round pick. They will designate the 25-year-old as a post-June 1 release and spread that over two years, with $11.8 million in 2020 and $8.4 million next year, but this is a colossal amount of dead money for a team up against the cap.
There is also a belief that Gurley’s knee may be an ongoing issue. When you consider he could be compromised and so expensive, the Rams thought it better to cut ties.
Gurley’s Humor is a Breath of Fresh Air
It’s great to see Gurley taking what could be a very tough piece of news in stride while also dealing with the disruption of normalcy brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.
It’s also likely easier to see the silver linings when one is as wealthy as a professional football player. Still, the lightheartedness is refreshing.