Todd Gurley is headed back to Georgia. Less than a day after being cut by the Los Angeles Rams, the star running back is signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
The deal is ppending a physical, which could be difficult due to the current restrictions on player medical checks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Gurley is slated to make $6 million on Atlanta’s one-year deal. Including the $7.5 million bonus owed to him by the Rams, with $2.5 million offset, Gurley will make $11 million in 2020, a source told Rapoport.
The Rams cut Gurley, who played for the University of Georgia, Thursday before an additional $10.5 million on his contract was set to become guaranteed.
After winning the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Award, which helped earn him a big extension, it’s been a precipitous fall for Gurley due to lingering knee issues. The injury curtailed his play during the Rams run to the Super Bowl in 2018, and he lacked his normal explosion again in 2019.
The questions about his knee led the Rams to move on, eating more than $20 million in dead money. L.A. still owes Gurley a $7.55 million roster bonus for this season. A shade over $2.5 million of that deal is subject to offsets, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The Falcons had talks with the Rams about a potential trade for Gurley before he was released, per Rapoport. Instead, they get him without giving up any draft considerations or taking on the rest of his bulky contract.
A one-year deal for Gurley makes sense, given the questions about his knee.
The Falcons were in the market for running back help after cutting Devonta Freeman. Pairing Gurley with Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley could be a major coup for Atlanta. If all stay healthy.
It all depends on how Gurley looks in 2020. When right, the 25-year-old has power and vision to blast through holes and take it the distance. He’s an upgrade in passing situations out of the backfield. Last year, however, Gurley never looked right, earning just 3.8 yards per carry on 223 totes.
Given the knee issues, Gurley no longer projects as a 25-carry workhorse moving forward but could be a difference-maker in key situations. He’ll pair with Ito Smith and Brian Hill in Atlanta’s backfield.