The LA Rams are hoping to restructure Todd Gurley’s big contract but it’s very unlikely to happen
RB Todd Gurley and the LA Rams have had a successful ride together until last season. Remember the mystery concerning his lack of playing time in Super Bowl LIII? There is a huge decision looming over the horizon in early March.
Gurley received a contract extension in 2018 which rewarded him immensely. According to spotrac.com, his deal was a four year contract worth $57.5 million. There is no doubt that Gurley earned a big payday, having outperformed his initial rookie contract.
Gurley was taken as the tenth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. His first four seasons were electrifying. Last season, his numbers fell off from previous seasons, substantially. But the more complicating piece is the manner in which those numbers fell.
In 2019, he carried the ball 223 times for 857 yards with 12 touchdowns. Gurley caught 31 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Do those statistics justify his lofty contract?
In 2020, Gurley will earn $17.25 million. Most of all, part of that salary is a roster bonus of $7.55 million. LA would save money over the long haul by releasing him and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. While that would mean taking a huge cap hit in 2020, it would free up significant cap space in 2021 and beyond.
What options would the Rams have in replacing Gurley? They could find a less expensive free agent. Perhaps they select a running back in the upcoming NFL Draft.
LA Rams have these options in replacing Todd Gurley
First, the free agent market has a couple of running backs worth consideration. RB Melvin Gordon is an option. He is very similar to Gurley, physically and is looking for a fresh start away from the LA Chargers.
RB Kenyan Drake is another option to pursue. He is a dual threat running back, who came over to the Arizona Cardinals in mid-season, and electrified the Cardinals offense. Last season, he touched the ball 220 times for 1162 total yards.
Next, they might draft a running back in April. Running back Lamical Perine, of Florida, would be an ideal selection. Perine could be a steal as a third round selection.
Third, LA might trade Gurley. Finding a trade partner might be tough. Gurley’s price tag might be more than some teams would want unless LA could restructure his deal. But the incentive to the team is to create salary cap savings, which may persuade the team to shed a late round pick to do so.
There is time for everything to play out. Expect LA to make Gurley a cap casualty before the beginning of the NFL Combine, if not sooner. Watch and see what happens in this unfolding storyline.