The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms today with former Rams running back Todd Gurley. This is the ultimate high-risk high-reward deal that the Falcons have offered in quite some time.
Sure, the Atlanta Falcons have entered into these types of deals before and been burned nearly every time. What makes this different with Todd Gurley is the fact that he is only 25. By no means has the game passed him by but his knee is a major concern.
Gurley’s knee questions go back to the 2015 NFL draft and caused a player that was the consensus most talented can’t miss player to drop to the 10th overall pick. Sure, we have seen others fall farther for other reasons, but the knee is a serious issue.
In the two biggest games of his career, the 2018 NFC Championship game against New Orleans and the 2018 Super Bowl against the Patriots, he combined for 14 rushes and two catches. Remember, he was an MVP candidate that year and Rams head coach Sean McVay told everyone he was just fine and the rumors about his knee were overblown.
The Rams cut Gurley in order not to guarantee his $10.5 million salaries for 2020 as well as his $5 million 2021 roster bonus. Had they kept him, both of those would have become guaranteed.
The Falcons have been interested in Gurley for a while now and he will get a chance to come back to the south and play in front of a lot of fans that have loved him for years because of his college career at UGA.
This year is just as big for Gurley as it is for the Atlanta Falcons. He wants to prove that his 2019 season was an anomaly and that he is still that game-changing running back he showed in 2018. If he can do that, the Falcons are a major beneficiary and this offense will be even better than it was back in 2016 when they were among the best offenses in NFL history.
Only time will tell how smart or how risky this move was, but there is no doubt that this will extend or end Thomas Dimitroff’s time running the Atlanta Falcons.