Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Rams made headlines when they opted to release star running back Todd Gurley following an underwhelming start to the offseason.
The Rams have endured some significant turnover to their roster once free agency kicked off after failing to re-sign defensive lineman Michael Brockers, outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. and linebacker Cory Littleton. Although losing so many key starters is hardly a positive sign for a potential resurgence in the 2020 NFL season, the departure of Gurley was easily the toughest pill to swallow for most fans.
Gurley had become the face of the franchise and an easy fan-favorite ever since the team’s relocation to Los Angeles. As a result, they are now let with a notable void to fill outside of just the depth chart alone.
According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, Rams COO Kevin Demoff acknowledged that it was difficult parting ways with a household name like Gurley:
“Like all Rams fans I’m appreciative of Todd and what he’s meant to this team,” Demoff said about Gurley. “Each year, your players change, your team changes and we knew walking into this season there would be tough choices…
“It’s going to be a different looking team than the one that left the field in 2019, but I think everybody knew that was going to be the case.”
The Rams made headlines when they rewarded Gurley with a lucrative four-year extension worth $45 million guaranteed in 2018. Although many criticized the move to pay a running back big money, he had already done more than enough to provide them with plenty of bang for their buck over the years.
After all, Gurley had just been named NFL Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts during a stellar 2017 campaign. He followed it up by leading Los Angeles to Super Bowl LIII en route to his third Pro Bowl and second All-Pro selection.
Unfortunately, rumors began to swirl about their concern regarding Gurley’s lingering knee issue and his decreased role during the 2019 NFL season only served to confirm the suspicions. This resulted in even further speculation regarding his uncertain future and his departure before the Rams even ushered in the new era at SoFi Stadium ultimately came to fruition.
All eyes will now be on running back Darrell Henderson to fill the void left by a player of Gurley’s caliber. OF course, general manager Les Snead has since indicated that they may rely on a “two-headed monster” to serve as his replacement.
Meanwhile, Gurley will be looking to show that he still has plenty of juice left in his knees to provide a spark for the Atlanta Falcons.