Todd Gurley has oft been used as a primary example for why running backs don’t matter and as of late, why you should avoid paying them as much as top flight players at other positions. Gurley was perhaps the first top-10 pick of this era to be controversial simply because he was a running back, he struggled in two of his five seasons, and towards the end of 2018, his injury opened the door for C.J. Anderson to walk in off the street and rush for 422 yards in a three-game span.
But what about the argument if your bias is for the other narrative? That running backs matter and that they’re one of the most important positions in the game.
You’re allowed to claim of course that Gurley was more productive because the Rams were good and that his offensive line was healthy, but you can’t argue against the fact that the Rams and a healthy Gurley were always good together. During the two seasons when he was considered the best running back in the NFL, LA went 22-5 in his starts and became a Super Bowl team. In the five games in 2019 when Gurley gained at least 89 total yards, the Rams were 5-0. This is partly due to LA being in a better position to run the ball in the second half of those games and you may also notice that much of those yards came as a receiver.
Whatever the cause, whatever the effect, Gurley and the Rams succeeded together and fell together. And for a number of reasons, including cap space, Gurley’s knee, and maybe Darrell Henderson, there are rumors being spread that the two sides will not be together for a game again. Will any team take on the base salaries of his contract, beginning with $5.5 million in 2020?
We’ll soon know if the Gurley speculation is more interesting than the Gurley reality. (Gureality?) Though teams can’t process trades until March 18 at the earliest.
Here are some links.
ESPN predicts Rams will shop Todd Gurley this offseason - RamsWire
Gurley clearly isn’t the running back he once was and the Rams are now in a predicament. Do they pay him more than $14 million per season to be an average back or do they trade him and try to offload his contract? ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry predicts the Rams will at least try to shop him, though finding a trade partner could be tough.
Rams players featured in hilarious new NFL ‘Bad Lip Reading’ - Rams Wire
The Rams are featured in it a few times. Jared Goff has an exchange with Prince Amukamara after a win over the Bears, but the best part comes when the Rams’ starters introduce themselves on NBC’s broadcast. The players included are Goff, Todd Gurley, Gerald Everett and Andrew Whitworth, which can be seen at the 3:44 mark.
4 options for LA Rams edge rusher: re-sign, sign, draft, or promote? - Ramblin’ Fan
For the first position, let’s lay the scenario so we’re all very clear. The LA Rams will be in need of a solid edge rusher for 2020. As we know, the Rams OLB Dante Fowler will be seeking the highest bidder in an auction of sorts among 32 NFL Teams. That’s not surprising, considering the team signed Fowler to just a one-year extension in 2019 for a hefty $14 million. What are the Rams options?
Todd Gurley: Rams have to do ‘little things’ better to return to Super Bowl - UPI
“Hopefully, the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks don’t do as well as they did last year [in the coming season],” said Gurley, who was at Gatorade’s Bolt24 Studio before Super Bowl LIV in Miami. “We have to focus on the little things. We still ended up with a winning season, but we just have to do a little better.”
Jalen Ramsey’s hard hat has fans speculating about Rams’ new colors - RamsWire
Donald was seen pushing a bulldozer at SoFi Stadium with Joey Bosa, while Jalen Ramsey and Derwin James were supervising the construction site wearing hard hats.
A handful of fans noticed something very interesting about Ramsey’s construction helmet, though: the colors. They weren’t navy and white and the oft-used royal and yellow, but instead it looked more like the Chargers’ powder blue and yellow color scheme – though slightly darker.
Notable third round NFL draft selections - Ramblin’ Fan
Second, running back Lawrence McCutcheon was taken in 1972. The big running back played eight seasons for the Rams. He rushed for 6186 yards with 23 touchdowns.
McCutcheon appeared in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1973-77. He is the fourth leading rusher in yards gained in Rams franchise history. McCutcheon has his place in Rams history.
Offseason predictions for all 32 NFL teams: Gurley trade, QBs on move - ESPN (The Gurley speculation article)
The Cardinals will part ways with running back David Johnson, who was once considered the future face of the franchise.
He’s scheduled to earn $10.2 million in 2020, with the entire amount guaranteed on the third day of the league year. But Johnson’s production continued to dwindle in 2019. He ran for just 345 yards, caught 36 passes for 370 yards and was benched throughout the season in favor of Kenyan Drake. While it’s not a guarantee that the Cardinals will bring back Drake, Johnson probably will be a casualty of his production and contract going in opposite directions. — Josh Weinfuss
Report: NFL has given NFLPA a “rough deadline” of March 18 to accept pending proposal - Yahoo Sports
The NFL and NFL Players Association have negotiated an acceptable labor deal. The NFLPA now must officially accept it, or reject it. And the clock is ticking.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the league has given the union a “rough deadline” of March 18 for accepting the current proposal, premised on a 17-game regular season. If the offer isn’t accepted, talks will be tabled indefinitely.
The Ideal Offseason Trade Scenario for Every NFL Team - Bleacher Report
Los Angeles Rams Acquire LB Matt Judon - First, the Ravens must place the franchise tag on the edge-rusher. Then, Judon’s expected salary demands would have to exceed the Ravens’ ability to re-sign him. Finally, the Rams must want to go all-in to acquire a legit sack artist.
Potential trade: The Rams acquire Judon from the Ravens for a second-round draft pick.
How good would Jay Cutler be in an NFL booth? - Awful Announcing
Personality-wise, Cutler has always come across as fairly insightful when he decides to open up, with a dry sense of humor that’s lately been the best part about Very Cavallari, his wife’s E! reality series. That and recent hiring trends would seemingly make him a decent candidate to move to the booth, which he almost did once before, when a last minute opportunity to start in Miami scuttled a deal with Fox that would have seen Cutler join Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis.
NFL free agency top 20 players: Tom Brady, Drew Brees headline compelling 2020 group - USAToday
Here are the top 20 (plus) players who are currently unsigned heading into the 2020 season.
1. Veteran quarterbacks: It’s exceedingly rare to have one name passer available. But this year, there’s a veritable buffet. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers are all unsigned – Brady, 42, and Brees, 41, both having stipulations that they cannot be franchised, while Rivers, 38, has uprooted his family from Southern California, quite a sign that he’ll be a Charger no longer. All have already descended from their physical peak, but any might be capable of another couple years of solid to sterling performances. Teams like the Chargers, Colts and Buccaneers might feel like they’re just one veteran quarterback away from serious contention.