The Los Angeles Rams could soon be parting ways with one-time stud running back Todd Gurley.
Just one season after Gurley helped propel a nearly unstoppable offense to the Super Bowl, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times writes that a disappointing 2019, and a failure to reach the same level of play for Gurley, may lead the team to trade him. He noted that the Rams tried an array of approaches to get Gurley started this season, at times treating him like a bell cow running back and feeding him carriers, and at other times resting him in an attempt to conserve his energy. None of it worked.
Plaschke noted that the Rams seemed to hit a wall this year, falling from the 11th best NFL offense of all time to just 11th in the league, leaving “only one thing left to do with their declining star” — trade him.
It would not be an easy proposition. Plaschke noted that the Rams would need to find a team that could assume part of Gurley’s $60 million contract extension, which would narrow the field.
“Another team will have to believe that Gurley, even if he passes the requisite physical, can overcome the restrictions caused by his arthritic left knee. That narrows the field even further,” the report noted, adding that Gurley could still be a good fit for a playoff team looking for a specialty player to complement its backfield.
Moving on from Todd Gurley just one year after the team reached the Super Bowl would likely be seen as a drastic move. The Rams had been seen as a potential powerhouse going into last season, building around young stars like Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff, but they took a major step back in 2019 in failing to return to the playoffs. Gurley and Goff took the bulk of the criticism as the team’s offense saw a sharp drop-off, though the Rams had lapses on defense and special teams as well.
The Rams have still expressed public confidence in Gurley, with general manager Les Snead saying he did not regret the big contract extension for the running back.
“Those are human beings that gave a lot to this organization and deserve to be compensated,” Snead said this week, via ESPN.
The Rams have also given no public indications that they could be considering trading Gurley, or whether there would be any interest in him if he were to go on the trading block.