Todd Gurley uses April Fool’s Day to remind teams he’s still available

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NFL players probably shouldn’t try to do April Fool’s Day gags. They still do, and they surely still will.

Tom Brady tried to make people think the Montreal Expos (a team that once drafted him) were returning in 2022, with Brady as the “first player/coach/owner in MLB history.” Brady proved that comedy is indeed hard.

49ers tight end George Kittle had a somewhat better joke, claiming he’d been traded to the Jaguars.

Free-agent running back Todd Gurley had an April Fool’s Day joke with a strategic objective. Said Gurley on Twitter: “Long Couple Of Weeks But Finally About To Sign To A Team.” Less than an hour later, he admitted that he’s “fooling around,” adding that he’s “staying ready and working hard.”

Though I won’t fault Gurley for it, it’s obvious he was using April Fool’s Day as a vehicle for reminding teams and media and fans that he’s available. For a guy who just four years ago was the NFL’s offensive player of the year and three years ago received a massive contract from the Rams, it can’t be easy to become an afterthought.

Throw in the fact that the position he plays doesn’t pay veterans very well (because there are always young, cheap rookies who can run the ball), and Gurley may be waiting for a while. Ultimately, he may have to decide whether he’s willing to play for the minimum or not play at all — if he even gets an offer to do that.

The lesson (in addition to “pick a position other than running back”) is this: Get paid what you can while you can, because your marketability can disappear quickly. Fortunately for Gurley, he maximized his compensation with the Rams before his career brought him to a point where the zero-sum game of 53 regular-season roster spots and far more than 32 times 53 guys trying to claim them pushes a guy out of football long before he’s ready to leave.

8 responses to “Todd Gurley uses April Fool’s Day to remind teams he’s still available

  1. A funnier one would be to tweet that you gave back all that money you stole from the Rams. But no one would believe it.

  2. I would say it might be time for Gurley to start considering getting into coaching rather than playing, but I’m positive his attitude and ego would make that close to impossible.

  3. I knew he wasn’t good last year, but I didn’t realize how little he contributed at 26. I was thinking he was young and might have a few years left as a backup on low deals (maybe like Alfred Morris’ later career), but I just read on his profile that PFF had him graded as the 113th RB in 2020. Wow. Performance-wise he really is at the stage of fighting for the 3rd-4th RB on a team and he’s going to lose out to UDFAs who contribute on special teams.

  4. Guess his knee was either not able to be repaired adequately or job done on it was inferior. Surely he has had multiple reassessments done in regard to further repair.

  5. I don’t know why everyone is so down on the guy. He came, he played, he broke his body and he got paid. Nothing new about that in the NFL. Luckily he hit the jackpot in LA and has enough money to do whatever he wants now. Best of luck to him.

  6. The Rams paid him good money. His knee wasn’t right when they drafted him, and everyone knew it. They took a chance, and he played very well.

    If he can take care of his money, he will do just fine.

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