By Matt De Lima
For a guy with 54 touchdowns scored in his last three seasons, the Los Angeles Rams didn’t seem to work very hard in retaining Todd Gurley this offseason. Teams chock full of talent have that luxury. Running backs don’t have that same prestige, and Gurley’s release puts that on full display.
That said, Gurley didn’t need to wait long in the unemployment line. The Atlanta Falcons snatched him up, pending a physical, and we don’t yet have contract terms beside the news of it being a one-year deal. Considering L.A. is willing to take on more than $20 million in dead money, in addition to a $7.5 million roster bonus, I’m going to take their side. That’s a big blow to their cap space and a whole lot to accept to just tell a guy to get out of the building!
First, let’s talk about where this leaves the Rams before moving onto Atlanta.
We’re still in the middle of free agency and the NFL Draft is about a month away. However, the cupboard looks bare to me. The RB depth chart as it currently stands is RB1 Malcolm Brown, RB2 Darrell Henderson and RB3 John Kelly. Unless you’re playing in a dynasty league with 40-man rosters, those names don’t really do much for you. I’d expect the Rams to add a cheap veteran and a running back selected late on Day 2 or early Day 3 during this year’s draft. I can’t see any of their current guys composing much more than a bad committee, both on the field and for fantasy owners, if they opted to roll with them into the regular season.
Gurley in Atlanta feels like a great fit. He’s going to be 26 years old when the season starts. He was a top-10 pick coming out of the University of Georgia. He’s back on the east coast, he’s back in the south. These are his roots.