Rams Announce Release Of Star Running Back Todd Gurley
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams had a tough decision to make in regards to star running back Todd Gurley on Thursday afternoon. They ended up announcing that they have released Gurley, eating around $22 million in dead cap space and making him a free agent.

Gurley signed an extension with the Rams a couple of years ago that had him under contract for four more seasons at a hefty price. Since L.A. cut him on Thursday, he will collect a $7.55 million roster bonus he’s already guaranteed. But if they kept him his $13.05 million salary for the 2020 season would become fully guaranteed, as would a $5 million roster bonus for 2021.

For that reason, the Rams had been shopping Gurley around the league in search of a trade partner. Unfortunately, it appears they were not able to find any takers.

It’s no secret that Gurley’s production fell off in 2019. After being named an All-Pro in both 2017 and 2018, he dealt with an arthritic knee condition that limited his workload for much of last season. In 15 games, he posted a career-low in rushing yards with 857 while only averaging 3.8 yards per carry. His reception numbers were down from the previous two years as well as he only had 31 catches for 207 yards.

While the decision to release Gurley makes sense financially, it certainly will be tough on the fan base as he was a favorite during his time with the organization. The 2015 first-round pick out of Georgia has been to three Pro Bowls in his five seasons with the Rams and is still just 25 years of age.

With Gurley no longer in the fold, the Rams’ running back situation will likely be a mixture of Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcolm Brown. They could also draft or sign another back to add to that group.

The Rams have also been shopping wide receiver Brandin Cooks on the trade market. They are likely facing a similar situation with him though as his injury history and the amount left on his contract will limit what the team can get in return.