The Los Angeles Rams made a relatively shocking move Thursday afternoon, releasing star running back Todd Gurley just a year and a half after he signed a massive extension with the club.
The decision to move on from Gurley likely had to do with his salary, as the running back was due an extra $10.5 million if he was on the active roster after 4 p.m. Gurley's name had been reportedly thrown around in trade talks this week, but the Rams could not find a partner to make a deal with.
Gurley, just 25 years old, is still one of the league's premier running backs. But something seemed a little off about the running back in 2019, despite the Rams consistently saying Gurley was completely healthy. He finished last year's campaign with a career-low in rushing yards (857), rush attempts (223), and yards per rush (3.8).
The two-time first-team All-Pro running back and three-time Pro Bowler is on the open market for the first time in his career, which will entice many teams who still think Gurley has plenty left in the tank. Since he entered the NFL in 2015, Gurley's 58 touchdowns on the ground are by far the most in the league. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has the second-most with just a mere 40.
While Gurley will likely have plenty of suitors for his services, don't expect the Redskins to be one of them.
Washington has four running backs under contract -- Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, Bryce Love and J.D. McKissic, who the Redskins signed Wednesday.
Peterson holds the top spot on the depth chart, and although he's 35 years old, has shown little sign of slowing down. Since arriving in August of 2018, Peterson has turned in two solid seasons for the Burgundy and Gold. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2018 and was Washington's leading rusher in 2019, too. He's turned in back-to-back seasons of 200-plus carries, and while the Redskins likely don't want him to run the ball that many times in 2020, he's shown he's more than capable of doing so.
Guice is expected to share early-down duties with Peterson, too. The third-year veteran has only played in five games during the first two seasons of his career, dealing with multiple knee injuries that have sidelined him for lengthy periods of time. But when on the field, he's shown why the Redskins invested a second-round pick in him two seasons ago (watch his highlights against Carolina and see for yourself).
McKissic, Washington's newest signing, will likely fill the void as the team's pass-catching running back, the role Chris Thompson played in Washington the last several seasons. Bryce Love, the team's fourth-round pick from a year ago, continues to recover from a knee injury he suffered in December of 2018 while at Stanford, but could be an X-factor next season if he's healthy.
So, as the Redskins move deeper into the offseason, the team likely has their running back group set. The Burgundy and Gold still have multiple positions they need to address in free agency and the draft (hello, cornerback and left tackle), and spending a significant amount of money on Gurley just doesn't make sense.
We've seen crazy things in the NFL, so never say never. But Gurley's next home will almost certainly not be in the nation's capital.
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