Gurley’s contract protects him for first two years, Rams for last two

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The Rams hope that running back Todd Gurley can play right away. The contract he signs reflects a somewhat lower degree of optimism.

Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Gurley’s contract includes a commitment from the Rams to pay Gurley’s full salary in 2015 and 2016, if he lands on the non-football injury list in both seasons due to the knee injury that occurred while he was playing college football at Georgia.

The contract also gives the Rams a way out from under the final two years of the contract, if the team eventually determines that Gurley won’t be able to recover from the torn ACL. If the deal is terminated due to the pre-existing knee injury, the Rams are on the hook only for the 2015 and 2016 base salaries.

Otherwise, the base salaries for all four years of the contract are guaranteed. And he gets an $8.3 million signing bonus, which will only be subject to reimbursement if he chooses to retire (and if the Rams choose to collect any unearned amounts).

The contract does not offset language for the guaranteed money; the Rams typically remove offset language from their first-round rookie deals. But the guaranteed money for 2017 and 2018 can be avoided entirely if Gurley is cut due to the pre-existing knee injury.

So if he never is able to pass a physical with the Rams, he gets the signing bonus and the base salaries for 2015 and 2016. Once he passes a physical, the full contract is guaranteed, without offset.

UPDATE 11:28 a.m. ET: A prior version of this article indicated that the contract has offset language for the guarantees. A Rams source tells PFT that the information disseminated by the NFLPA regarding that point was not accurate.

9 responses to “Gurley’s contract protects him for first two years, Rams for last two

  1. I can’t wait to see this kid run!!! I like who my Lions took, especially considering the need, but I would have loved to get him.

  2. Great back when healthy. But was taken too high by the Rams in the draft due to the injury risk. If they wanted a RB they should have traded down, picked up another draft pick and selected Melvin Gordon who is healthy and going to be a stud.

  3. Jeff Fisher’s moustache strikes again! It’s like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. All powerful with all the answers.

  4. @dolphansanity

    If they wanted a RB they should have traded down, picked up another draft pick and selected Melvin Gordon who is healthy and going to be a stud.
    ============================
    I think you are right about Gordon, but as a Chargers fan, I was actually hoping we would have selected Gurley. I think Gurley will turn out to be a better three down down back (I think he has better hands than Gordon) which is what the Chargers would need if they want to control the clock.

  5. gobolts says:Jun 20, 2015 12:04 PM

    @dolphansanity

    If they wanted a RB they should have traded down, picked up another draft pick and selected Melvin Gordon who is healthy and going to be a stud.
    ============================
    I think you are right about Gordon, but as a Chargers fan, I was actually hoping we would have selected Gurley. I think Gurley will turn out to be a better three down down back (I think he has better hands than Gordon) which is what the Chargers would need if they want to control the clock.
    ———————————————————-
    I think the 3 down back does not exist any more. Even AP is rarely in for 3 downs. M Lynch might be the exception, and maybe 1 or 2 other but thats about it I believe. I could be wrong.

  6. It sounds like the rams think it is a very real possibility that that this kid never plays a down for them and they still chose to spend a valuable top 10 pick on him and set this kid up for life.

    For their sake I hope the kid recovers, if not this should all be on fisher.

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