The Rams front office meeting with Todd Gurley is not a definitive “restructure or else” meeting. As we had indicated previously, Gurley’s durability is a huge question mark now for the team. Not only did Gurley struggle to compete in the 2018 NFL playoffs and Super Bowl 53, but he followed up with a 2019 season with one of his poorest showings in his career.
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Some claim it’s all due to lack of touches. Others claim it was poor play from the offensive line. But whatever the cause of a poor season, the team paid Gurley as though he would lead the NFL in virtually all offensive categories. Meeting with the front office may simply be asking Gurley directly how to get his running game back to normal.
Still, the excuses of touches or offensive line only carry the argument so far. So it’s time for the Rams and the running back to hash out the past, the present, and the future. Of course, the past will focus on his knee, its status, and the likelihood of his health enduring over the course of a full 16 game season and full workload.
The present discussion will most certainly focus upon the team’s options with Gurley’s current contract. How can the team free up cap space to pay his teammates, his offensive linemen, and ensure the Rams remain competitive in 2020?
The future will likely focus on Gurley’s role with the team, or with another NFL team, depending on the discussions go. If the Rams pose a diminishing role for Gurley this year or in the future due to plans to give more touches to teammate Darrell Henderson, Gurley may demand a trade.
Trade or restructure accomplishes more cap space. Gurley continues to have a lot of running game in him. But the reality is that his dominance is likely a past chapter, and he must now share the load and the spotlight to continue as an LA Rams feature back. Of course, a diminished role means a pay cut.
The first step involves the team and player meet, discuss, and then decide a course of action. The Rams need salary cap space. Running back Todd Gurley holds part of the solution. We’ll learn how they worked things out in the days ahead.