Los Angeles Rams Cut Todd Gurley

Jordan Cohn
March 19, 2020 - 4:01 pm

Just a few seasons ago, Todd Gurley was awarded the AP Offensive Player of the Year honors. Now, he’s facing a completely unforeseen situation.

In shocking news Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams released Gurley, who has averaged over 1,000 yards rushing in his five-year NFL career, all with the Rams, as well as around 10 touchdowns per season. The move came at a time where there were frequent trade rumors surrounding the speculation that Gurley could be a viable target of teams hungry for a running back, such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Chicago Bears.

Gurley appeared to take the news in stride, referencing the 1995 cult classic "Friday," starring Ice Cube, in his response on social media:

The decision to cut Gurley is especially surprising because of the financial impact it will have on the Rams. Gurley’s contract was structured so that cutting him would result in $20 million in dead cap in 2020 and $8 million in dead cup the following season. In essence, by cutting Gurley, they lost their lead running back as well as $3 million to use during the 2020 offseason.

Though the complete reasoning or justification of the move is unclear as of now, the cut did occur at a time that makes sense, considering they made the decision before another $10.5 million was guaranteed. Additionally, Gurley had been hampered by injuries the past couple of years, limiting his production and playing time. Though he still scored 12 touchdowns last season, it came on much lower efficiency, as his burlesque Y/A numbers from years prior (4.7 in 2017, 4.9 in 2018) had decreased to just 3.8 in 2019.

As a result, the Rams rushing offense went from a top-10 unit in 2017 and top-three unit in 2018 ranked No. 26 in the NFL last season.

Perhaps now Gurley will be able to find a potential suitor given the negation of his current contract. Joining Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, Nick Foles in Chicago or any of the other situations that could be attractive for win-now teams are all possibilities.