The 7 worst contracts in LA Rams franchise history

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams History Rams News Todd Gurley
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Fourth Worst contract

4 RB Todd Gurley – July 14, 20184-years extension, $57.5 million/ $45 million guaranteed

The Rams (first Saint Louis, then LA) really loved the performance from feature running back Todd Gurley, and wanted to reflect his overperformance on the field with a huge bump in pay. Prior to his extension, Gurley was running on (pun intended) his rookie deal signed in June 2015 which amounted to a four-year $13.823 million contract.

But two problems developed while the ink was still wet on that extension. For starters, the running back market in the NFL plummeted. Thanks to rules changes, personnel availability, reconfigured offenses, and finally, the willingness of how NFL general managers wanted to spend their money, the value of running backs has declined rapidly since the Rams extended Gurley.

The second and more nefarious problem was the health of Todd Gurley, specifically his knees. Gurley was involved in the Rams’ offense for 350+ plays, combining both his carries and targets in the passing game. After the 2017 season, when the Rams sat down to ink the deal, Gurley was responsible for over 2000 yards of offense.

Hot. LA Rams already fixed 2 of 5 items on the 2022 punch list. light

But those knees were wearing down rapidly. As soon as the Rams and Gurley signed the deal, which guaranteed over 78 percent of his salary (oh boy, that was stupid!), problems arose. Gurley missed the last two games of the season and would be managed in terms of workload through the postseason.

That ‘managed workload’ theme carried over into 2019. But the Rams had already signed, and paid for, the 2000+ yards of the offense running back from 2017, and guaranteed nearly four-fifths of his salary in the process. The team cut Gurley before the 2020 NFL season and had solid reasons for doing so. The Rams have since structured their offense with a running back committee so as not to rely on, and work, any individual player too heavily.