Many superstars got traded on the first day of the new NFL league year. Of course, those include the megadeal that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for David Johnson. In addition, the Vikings traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for three draft picks, including a first-round selection.
However, another superstar is also on the trade block and we’re yet to see the conclusion of that saga. This refers to Rams running back Todd Gurley. Mike Silver, an NFL network insider, said yesterday evening that the Rams are seemingly ready to move on from him. It’s clear that the last season hurt his value so this might be the right time to search for a suitor for Gurley before he declines and they’re forced to outright cut him.
On the other hand, Gurley’s past might be an indication of how he can bounce back. After he got drafted 10th overall in 2015, he rushed 1,106 yards in his rookie year. He also posted 1,000+ yards in a season twice following the Rams’ move to Los Angeles. Overall, he has three Pro Bowl selections and two First-team All-Pro selections. Neither Malcolm Brown nor Darrell Henderson looks like a player good enough to replace Gurley. Moreover, they can’t also fill that need via the NFL Draft as they don’t have any first-round picks due to the Jalen Ramsey trade in November. This means they will be looking for the highest possible pick in the second round.
Gurley was still well-utilised in the endzone and recorded 10+ touchdowns for the fourth time in five years. Nevertheless, he posted the lowest total amount of rushing yards over the course of a season in his career. Now that teams like the 49ers and the Ravens have revolutionised the ground game and the draft contains three high-profile backs, his worth has dipped even more on the downward spiral.
What the Rams demand in a trade
According to Silver, the Rams are seeking a second to fourth-round pick in return for Gurley.
This seems like a thoroughly fair reflection of his current on-field state – he’s certainly not worth a first-rounder anymore. However, it’s especially important for LA to get a second-round pick that is higher than No. 52, which is their first of the draft. This will spark interest amongst teams that are still trying to establish a competitive environment and have draft capital.
Although picks from the 3rd round on can be good in the long-term, they can’t deliver instantly. The Rams’ Super Bowl window, meanwhile, seems to be beginning to close following a disappointing 9-7 campaign. Goff’s contract isn’t fully paying off, Gurley’s close to departing and free agents are also leaving. The Rams are working on re-signing free-agent OT Andrew Whitworth. But it could be both him and DE Dante Fowler finding new teams which will weaken both the offensive and defensive lines.
Possible candidates for Gurley
What makes this situation very curious is the fact that LA would want a team that picks No. 1 to No. 10 in the first round to grab Gurley to have any chance of getting high-class talent in the second round. The first team that pops is the Dolphins. Miami, even after yesterday’s moves, have nearly $40 million in remaining cap space. Also, they possess league-high 14 draft picks. Expect some of those to be dealt away in the search for a new running back if they take that to the trade market.
The Colts have Redskins second-round pick (No. 34) and are reluctant to trading in after giving up the 13th overall pick for DeForest Buckner. The only other teams that might be looking for help on the ground could be the Lions and the Jaguars but that would be the most efficient solution to the problem. Indy has another pick at No. 44 which could another option. That marks the biggest possible downfall first-round talent could suffer in order to be available for the Rams, be it a RB or something else. Tampa Bay, having finished 24th in rush yards/game, holds the 45th pick.
Gurley would a RB2 at best in Indianapolis, behind Marlon Mack. Buccaneers and Jaguars could share the first-choice workload between him and current starters. In Miami, the worst-running team in the league in 2019, he’ll have the biggest impact. The biggest free-agent backs on the market include Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman, and Carlos Hyde. Gurley’s contract has expensive bonuses and amounts for $17,250,000 in 2020 alone. Because of that, It’ll be interesting to see if they gamble on Gurley’s past and absorb a part of the deal or they turn to lower-risk additions.