The Los Angeles Rams want to part with Todd Gurley, and these five teams may have interest in trading for him.
After the first of back-to-back seasons where he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns, the Los Angeles Rams signed Todd Gurley to a four-year, $57.5 million contract extension with $45 million guaranteed.
Gurley had another big year in 2018 (1,251 rushing yards, a league-best 17 touchdowns). But he also missed time late in that season with a left knee issue, and a limited workload in the playoffs led to reports of arthritis in the knee he tore the ACL in during his college days at Georgia.
Gurley’s workload remained limited into last season, with more than 15 carries just twice in the first nine games. He got more work over the final seven contests, with 20 or more carries three times and 19 carries in another game, in an easily perceived payoff of a limited early season workload.
But Gurley averaged just 3.8 yards per carry on a career-low 223 carries last year, and his role as a pass catcher dropped off (31 receptions for 207 yards). His 14 total touchdowns (12 rushing) were a saving grace.
With a $20.15 million dead money hit if they cut him, the Rams seem to be stuck with the lesser version of Gurley for at least 2020. But according to Michael Silver of NFL Network, Gurley’s name has come up in trade talks and the team may be ready to move on. A trade drops the Rams’ dead money hit to $12.6 million.
Gurley’s contract is a barrier to a trade, with a $17.25 million cap hit for this year and a $13.2 million cap hit for 2021. The dead money hit for cutting him drops to $8.4 million in 2021, with the ability to clear $4.8 million in cap space. As a side note, a $5 million roster bonus for 2021 becomes fully guaranteed to Gurley on Friday.
It will require some faith (blind or otherwise) and cap space, but these five teams have a case to consider making a trade for Todd Gurley.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts don’t have a great need at running back, with Marlon Mack (1,091 rushing yards and eight touchdowns last year) holding down the fort as a solid lead back. But entering the final year of his rookie contract he has not yet played all 16 games in a season, and a top-notch offensive line has helped him.
That same offensive line would help Gurley a lot, as the Rams’ line dropped off last year to further exacerbate his broader struggles. Behind Mack on the depth chart right now is Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams.
With Philip Rivers now in place as the starting quarterback on a one-year deal, Indianapolis has put themselves in a win-now window. In terms of cap space, they are still flush with it ($45.9 million, according to Over The Cap) and can easily absorb Gurley’s financial hit.