Inside Todd Gurley’s new deal

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At a time when everyone was watching and waiting for Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald to get a new contract, the team opted instead to extend running back Todd Gurley. The dust has now officially settled, PFT has obtained the full breakdown of the deal, and the numbers are every bit as impressive as the original reports suggesting.

Now, the $45 million in reported guarantees aren’t, as many realize by now, fully guaranteed at signing. But the devices used by Roc Nation make the money fully guaranteed, as a practical matter.

More on that in a moment. For now, the nuts and bolts of the contract.

1. Signing bonus: $21 million.

2. 2018 base salary: $950,000, fully guaranteed.

3. 2019 base salary: $5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.

4. 2020 roster bonus due on third day of 2020 league year: $7.55 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.

5. 2020 salary: $5.5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year.

6. 2021 roster bonus due on the third day of 2021 league year or when the first game, whichever is earlier: $5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year.

7. 2021 salary: $4 million.

8. 2022 roster bonus, due on the third day of the 2022 league year: $1 million.

9. 2022 training camp reporting bonus: $4 million.

10. 2022 salary: $5 million.

11. 2023 roster bonus, due on the third day of the 2023 league year: $1 million.

12. 2023 training camp reporting bonus: $4 million.

13. 2023 salary: $5.449 million.

14. 2023 escalator: Up to $2.5 million based on individual and team performance.

And now for some more information and analysis on the deal.

First, much of the guaranteed money has no offset language. Specifically, the signing bonus, 2018 salary, 2019 salary, and $5 million of the 2020 roster bonus are not subject to dollar-for-dollar credit if the Rams release Gurley. That’s $31.95 million.

Second, $21.95 million is fully guaranteed at signing.

Third, as of the third day of the 2019 league year, a whopping $34.5 million of the deal will be fully guaranteed. Thus, to avoid owing him nearly $40 million, the Rams would have to cut Gurley after only one season. Which would give him $21.95 million for one year, none of which would be subject to offset.

Fourth, another $10.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year. Which means that, to avoid paying him the full $45 million in guaranteed money, they’d have to cut him after two years — and he’d walk away with $34.5 million for two seasons of work.

Fifth, the 2021 roster bonus was negotiated with a potential work stoppage in mind. That’s why the trigger is the third day of the league year or the playing of the first game.

Sixth, technically, the four-year, $60 million extension has a base value of $57.5 million. This also means that the full six-year deal has a base value of $69.449 million. Which makes the new-money average of the base deal $14.375 million and the total average from signing $11.574 million.

Those numbers are still far and away above the current running back market, which has been depressed at the top end since Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson signed their long-term deals in 2011.

As noted on Tuesday, Gurley was due to make only $2.3 million this year. By next year, Le'Veon Bell‘s new deal would have become the benchmark for Gurley. So the Rams made Gurley an offer he really couldn’t refuse, with a practical guarantee at signing of $34.5 million and a clear path to the full $45 million.

Plus, Gurley will be 29 when the deal expires, which will give him another shot at a market-level deal, if he stays healthy and effective.

Seventh, and finally, Gurley would have made $37.3 million over the next four years, if he’d gone year to year. Under the new deal, the cash flow is $21.95 million through one year, $26.95 million through two years, $39.5 million through three years, and $49.5 million through four years. That’s $12.2 million more through four years than he would have made under the final two years of his rookie deal and two years of the franchise tag.

So it was a very good deal for Gurley, one that he couldn’t have refused. And by offering it now, the Rams avoided having Bell’s new contract push the bar for Gurley even higher in 2019.

17 responses to “Inside Todd Gurley’s new deal

  1. So in essence, it’s a 1 year, $22 million contract, guaranteed, with team options for the rest.

  2. Good payday for a running back. I bet Donald is less than happy. They must be thinking of using the option year and tagging him twice then letting him go. That’s the only thing I can think of. A dominant DT is more rare than a decent RB.

  3. You’ve got to be kidding me! Unbelievable for playing football. Who’d of thought?

  4. And more importantly for the Rams, the bulk of the guaranteed money is paid out in the next 3 years, thus giving them plenty of wiggle room to pay Goff after his 5th year options as long as he maintains a high level of play.

  5. oh man, Gurley is going to be complaining that he’s underpaid in a few years since all this money is upfront in the contract

  6. Gurley is the best RB in the league. Bell, Elliott and any others looking for contracts just found their upper bound.

  7. Thank you Florio for breaking this down. Maybe now the nitwits like “Tylawpick6” will see how this deal is shaped so the team can can avoid “Cap hell” down the line and still be able to sign Donald and Goff.

  8. I’m just here for all the “cap hell” and “just like the Jets” comments lol. Les Snead knows what he’s doing and negotiated a deal that doesn’t handicap the team and doesn’t underpay Gurley.

    Plus, this shows he’s open to paying players and that the holdup is on Donald’s side. AD99 must be asking for something totally unreasonable and I’m not mad at Les for not budging.

    And greg3117…did you just refer to Gurley as a “decent running back”? If leading the league in yards from scrimmage, touchdowns, plus getting the OPOY awards, is considered decent, then I’d love to see why a good or great inning back does in a year. I guess haters gonna hate…

  9. worth every penny!

    I bet it hurts these little chumps souls that certain players are becoming multi millionaires for their world class talent

  10. It’s actually a great deal for both player and team. Gurley is setting the new RB market and the Rams have structured it well where it won’t put them in cap hell when Goff gets paid.

  11. It doesn’t mattsr how it is structured. It is a passing league, Goff clearly needs an all star RB to look good, and any team putting that kind of money into a bellcow back like it is 1991, is a moronic franchise.

    End of story.

  12. .
    It’s a crazy time in the RB market. One school of thought is to find a thoroughbred to hitch your wagon to. That model is best exemplified by the Rams and Steelers with Gurley and Bell, respectively. The other option is to hire five ponies and have them share the load. That philosophy is the Patriots model.

    It would make for interesting reading to compare the thoroughbred / ponies schemes after the season and see how the two compared..

  13. This lines up with exactly what I said yesterday on another story about Gurley”s deal.

    canadianfan33 says:
    July 25, 2018 at 10:01 am
    everyone is talking about the Rams being in cap hell. Do you honestly think they don’t have experts and analysts looking at all aspects of this? They have a team of people who are dedicated to running all these scenarios. Do you think they pick these numbers at random? They have a clearly defined budget (salary cap), they know the constraints. They have a plan, and I trust they know what they are doing way more than us armchair GMs do.

    8 5 Rate This

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