The Los Angeles Rams made Todd Gurley a very, very rich man during the 2018 offseason when the franchise opted to give him a new contract with $45 million guaranteed, a then-record for a running back. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon and the Rams announced that the franchise has decided to release Gurley.
We have released Todd Gurley.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 19, 2020
Los Angeles used the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on the former University of Georgia standout, and for years, he was one of the best running backs in the league, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2017 and 2018, along with a second-team nod as a rookie. However, Gurley’s production has fallen off over the last two years due to arthritis in his left knee — he barely played in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl two seasons ago, and last year, Gurley saw his numbers fall off. He ran the ball 223 times for 857 yards last year, both career-lows, although he did find the end zone 12 times.
Still, moving on from Gurley, who is only 25, is a huge move, even if it is not totally surprising. It was reported earlier in the day that the Rams were engaged in trade talks revolving around him. Having said that, cutting him is still quite the move, as it comes one day before he is due a gigantic roster bonus. Gurley is still, though, the second-largest single-season cap hit ever.
Top Single-Season Dead Cap Hits of All-Time
Antonio Brown, $21.12M
Todd Gurley, $20.15M
Jamarcus Russell, $18.9M
Nick Foles, $18.75M
Ryan Tannehill, $18.4M
Andrew Luck, $18.4M
Joe Flacco, $16M
Odell Beckham Jr., $16M
— Spotrac (@spotrac) March 19, 2020
The move also doesn’t seem to be particularly popular with two of the Rams’ best players.
— AD_99 (@AaronDonald97) March 19, 2020
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) March 19, 2020
Gurley is still young enough that he should be able to find a landing spot somewhere, but considering where he was only a few years ago, the fact that it’s come to this is nothing short of stunning.