The Los Angeles Rams have released star running back Todd Gurley in one of the major moves so far of the NFL offseason. Gurley had been one of the focal points of the Rams offseason but questions about his long-term health combined with his drop in production likely caused the Rams to move on.
“The Rams announce the release of Todd Gurley. He’s owed a $7.55 million roster bonus (there are offsets) for 2020, and the team has an additional $12.6 million in dead cap money to be accounted for. End of an era in LA,” Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer tweeted.
Even if Gurley is completely healthy, the running back came with a high price tag. Gurley was entering the second season of a four-year, $57 million contract. The running back was due a combined $13 million for the 2020 season given his $5.5 million salary along with a $7.5 million roster bonus, per Spotrac.
The hope for interested teams is that Gurley can regain his 2018 form when he rushed for his second straight thousand yard season and five-hundred plus receiving yards. Gurley is coming off 857 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns combined with 31 receptions for 207 yards.
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Gurley Faces a Bleak Running Back Free Agent Market
The Rams had been shopping Gurley but were not able to find a team willing to take on his contract. NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that the Rams had been shopping the running back.
“Another big-name player whose name is coming up in trade talks: Rams RB Todd Gurley. As I reported in December, the team may be ready to move on,” Silver noted on Twitter.
The Falcons & Dolphins Are Among the Possible Landing Spots for Gurley
Gurley enters a volatile free-agent market for running backs with a number of other quality players remaining unsigned including Melvin Gordon and Devonta Freeman. ESPN’s Josina Anderson listed the Falcons and Dolphins as potential landing spots for Gurley.
“My understanding is among two of Todd Gurley’s desirable destinations recently has been Atlanta and Miami, per source; though the #Dolphins just brought in Jordan Howard. However, we’ll see now, how other potential options open up for Gurley, or how the market reacts,” Anderson reported on Twitter.
The Current NFL Rules Around COVID-19 Could Hinder Gurley’s Chances of Signing With a Team
The challenge for Gurley is that NFL teams are going to want to examine his health before signing him to a contract. The current NFL rules prohibit players from traveling to team facilities as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the world. Gurley is going to eventually find a new home, but The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones detailed why the running back could remain on the market for a bit.
“Another thing to consider as Todd Gurley becomes a free agent: You have to imagine any team wanting to sign him will want their own doctors to be able to conduct a physical given his knee issues,” Jones tweeted.
Gurley is just 25 years old and has the ability to help a team’s backfield even if the organization opts to keep him on a play count. It will be interesting to see what the market for Gurley will be in light of the current travel restrictions.