Comparing the Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott deals

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When it comes to new-money average, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott beat Rams running back Todd Gurley by $625,000 per year — $15 million to $14.375 million. But there are more factors to the Elliott vs. Gurley contract than new-money average.

So let’s compare the two contracts, under various metrics.

Signing bonus: Gurley got a whopping $21 million. Elliott’s is only $7.5 million.

Fist-year salary: Gurley received $950,000, fully guaranteed at signing. Elliott gets $752,000, fully guaranteed at signing.

Second-year compensation: Gurley received $5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed on the third day of the second league year. Elliott has $19.8 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

Cash flow through two years: Gurley is at $26.95 million. Elliott will be at $28.05 million.

Third-year compensation: Gurley received $13.05 million, $7.55 million of which is guaranteed on the third day of the second league year and $5.5 million of which is guaranteed on the third day of the third league year. Elliott gets $9.6 million, fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the second league year.

Cash flow through three years: Gurley gets $40 million. Elliott will be at $38.1 million.

Fouth-year compensation: Gurley gets $9.5 million, $5 million of which is fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the third league year. Elliott gets $12.4 million, all of which is fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the third league year.

Cash flow through four years: $49.5 million for Gurley, and $50.05 million for Elliott.

Full guarantee at signing: Gurley received $21.95 million. Elliott will get $28 million.

Total annual average at signing: Gurley is at $11.574 million per year, and Elliott is at $12.86 million per year.

Total commitment from player: Six years for Gurley, eight years for Elliott.

The biggest practical difference between the two contracts is that the Rams likely already regret paying Gurley, given a chronic knee problem that apparently will keep him from being a workhorse tailback. The Cowboys may or may not regret paying Elliott; regardless, they’re basically on the hook for $50.05 million through four years, unless they cut the cord in March 2021, after only two seasons and a total payout (including guarantees) of $38.1 million.

12 responses to “Comparing the Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott deals

  1. Sounds pretty close to equal to me. It was always gonna be around this anyway. And for those who wanna say the window is alredy closing for Dallas or they screwed themselves with the cap, take a look at the Rams who seem to be doing ok.

  2. Sounds pretty close to equal to me. It was always gonna be around this anyway. And for those who wanna say the window is already closing for Dallas or they screwed themselves with the cap, take a look at the Rams who seem to be doing ok.

  3. Well I am pretty sure the Rams wanted to be the ones that set the market and not have to follow Le’Veon Bell or Ezekiel Elliott.

    Didn’t have to deal with training camp holdout either.

    Gurley has probably earned the benefit of the doubt? Let’s see him play one game this year before we write him off entirely.

  4. Hopefully Dallas will have a babysitter for Elliott like the had for Dez Bryant. I’d reckon many of the guarantees are voided if Ezekiel acts the fool or gets suspended.

  5. Now comes the reality of overpaying the RB position… one of the most disposable/replaceable positions in football.

  6. Let me play Devil’s Advocate here…

    Let’s say Zeke stays healthy and produces at a relatively steady rate for the duration of the contract. Given the cap rising and position franchise tag numbers climbing, it’s at least possible this looks like a great contract for Dallas in 2024.

    Many said the Cowboys AND Tyron Smith were stupid for his 8 year, $97M deal but in today’s market, you could argue Tyron is underpaid. But Dallas still has him under control for five more seasons.

    Not a Cowboys fan, but this could turn out to be a good deal for both sides.

  7. I wish the NFL did not reveal contract details. It’s none of your business. As long as the team is in compliance with cap rules, it’s not public information. Bitter, non-athletes just lament over how much they get paid while ignoring how athletes make other people rich including coaches, executives, broadcasters, networks, etc.

  8. Kyle Cruel says:
    September 4, 2019 at 8:52 pm
    Now comes the reality of overpaying the RB position… one of the most disposable/replaceable positions in football.
    ———————————
    It’s still better to have a great RB than not. UDFA’s or late round RB’s only have a few good seasons. Higher picks are more consistent. That’s the difference.

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