Rams have a big decision looming with Todd Gurley

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Todd Gurley‘s financial reward for three great seasons has become a ball and chain for the L.A. Rams as he enters year five of his career.

Gurley has a knee issue that generates news on a near-daily basis. Most recently, Rams radio analyst Maurice Jones-Drew said that the knee bothered Gurley all year long, injury report be damned. That caps a week in which it became clear that the Rams won’t use Gurley at all in the offseason, that the knee truly is “a concern,” and that he’s trying to lose weight in order to reduce the wear and tear on the joint.

As a practical matter, there’s not much the Rams can do about the situation because, as a financial matter, they’re bound to Gurley at least through 2019. Come 2020, a significant decision will have to be made.

As of the third day of the 2019 league year, $34.5 million of Gurley’s deal signed last summer became fully guaranteed. Much of that money has no offset language, including $5 million due in 2020 as a roster bonus.

After 2019, things will become interesting. Another $10.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year. Thus, to avoid paying Gurley the full $45 million in guaranteed money under his contract, the Rams will have to cut him after two years. If they do, Gurley would walk away with $34.5 million for only two seasons of work.

If rookie Darrell Henderson quickly flourishes in the Sean McVay offense, the Rams will have to forget about the $34.5 million for 2018 and 2019 and focus on a very clear, specific proposition: Will Gurley be worth another $10.5 million?

13 responses to “Rams have a big decision looming with Todd Gurley

  1. This arthritic condition is a shame, and it’s not going to get better. Knees and football just aren’t compatible.

  2. >>Thus, to avoid paying Gurley the full $45 million in guaranteed money under his contract, the Rams will have to cut him after two years. If they do, Gurley would walk away with $34.5 million for only two seasons of work.

    If he is unable to perform at a $10,000,000/year player then cut him.

    He is permanently injured, so it’s not like anyone wins.

  3. They should have cut him before the guarantees kicked in.Pretty obvious he is not the same player due to injury.

  4. The Rams arguably would have been 2018 Super Bowl champs if they had the 2017 version of Gurley available. That grind it out game was perfect for his talent to take over.

  5. The damage occured while he was significantly outperforming his rookie deal set by the CBA. I have no problem with a player who is declining due to wear and tear from working his tail off for a team whose success was in large part due to said tail being worked off. Let the kid get paid. The real negative here is that his body may deprive fans of getting to see just how great he could’ve been over a 10-12 year career.

  6. Running Backs are a dangerous investment. Everyone knows that by now, but sometimes you have to roll the dice anyway.

  7. “Another $10.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year.”

    So they can’t stretch him post June 1st to reduce the cap hit on what’s already been paid over 2 years without adding another 10.5 mil to the overall hit, plus essentially giving him an extra 10 mil walking out the door. That means what, a roughly 20 million cap hit on 2020 if they cut him before paying him the 10.5 mil extra? Or 15 million a year for 2 years if they wait to cut him.

  8. The Jets certainly “rolled the dice”. Will be interesting to see if they get a 7/11 a 2/3/12.

  9. I don’t think they will cut him in 19, but if he has a tough time staying on the field. I could see them doing it. 10 million is a ton of money, but not in football terms..

  10. Not having Gurley is a significant blow to the Rams. He carried that offense whenever Goff struggled. Losing him will cost the Rams about 3 wins I’d guess, maybe more.

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