“No pressure,” Gurley told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s the same thing I’ve been doing my whole life. You’ve just got to be able to be consistent and keep doing it at a high level. With coach [Sean] McVay as my coach, all these great weapons around me, I’m fully confident that we can do that for years to come.”
Gurley has no regrets about doing the deal now instead of waiting to see how things change in a year, specifically after Le'Veon Bell gets his long-term deal.
“I’m just happy we were all able to be on the same page,” Gurley said. “Just try to get it done now. Like I said, I wasn’t worrying about it too much. The Rams, they just did a phenomenal job on their part of being able to make this all come true for me. So, I’m happy to get it done early, out of the way. Like I said, just play ball from here on.”
Even though Gurley recently suggested that players should force a lock out to get fully-guaranteed deals, Gurley’s contract isn’t fully guaranteed. But it’s still a great deal given the languishing tailback market, and Gurley knows it will make him a marked man.
“Talking to my running back coach from college, he said the exact same thing,” Gurley said. “You think people know you now, they’re definitely going to definitely know your worth. I’m excited. That’s why I play this game –- to go out there try and make plays, put my team in a great position. I’ve got great teammates around me that are going to help me be in that position and I’m going to help them be in a great position as well.”
He’s definitely in a great financial position. Asked whether he’s done the math as to how much his new millions will be able to buy him in new shoes, Gurley said, “Haven’t done the math, but I’m pretty sure I can buy a whole lot of shoes now.”
He definitely can, and that’s the way it should be. When the NFL secured in 2011 a rookie wage scale aimed at keeping first-round draft busts from pocketing millions they never earn, no protection was put in place to ensure that the non-busts get their reward. Few teams have been willing to pay out long-term deals to first-rounders after only three seasons, when the first-rounders become eligible for new contracts. As to Gurley, the Rams became an exception to what should be the rule.
And it really was a win-win. Gurley, traded what would have been roughly $35 million on year-to-year basis over the next four years for a firm $49 million. And he achieved the kind of financial security that simply wouldn’t have been there in 2018, when he previously was due to make $2.3 million.
In return, the Rams avoided having Gurley enter the final year of his rookie deal on the heels of Bell possibly getting as much as $17 million per year on the open market, which would have only made it more expensive to keep Gurley in the fold.