Rams Release Todd Gurley and Further Prove You Should Never Pay Running Backs

Todd Gurley
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley | Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams are admitting defeat on one of the worst contract extensions we've ever seen, and at the same time freeing a running back whose future in the NFL is far from certain.

Todd Gurley signed a four-year contract extension worth $60 million in 2018 in a move that has since been proven disastrous. The Georgia product hasn't been fully healthy since, with much mystery surrounding his lower body, specifically his knee.

On Thursday, LA released Gurley just minutes before a 4 p.m. ET deadline after which they would've owed their former first-round pick an extra $10.5 million on the books.

Gurley's productivity took a rather large dip in 2019, as he went from back-to-back All-Pro seasons to a measly 857 yards. This is, of course, after he lost carries to veteran RB CJ Anderson during the team's 2018 NFC playoff run, which included a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots which exposed Jared Goff as an inefficient passer without the benefit of a reliable running game.

Meanwhile, Gurley sat on the sidelines, helpless.

Gurley is unfortunately a cautionary tale in today's running back market. The likes of Melvin Gordon continue to wait for a long-term contract to be thrown in their direction, but instead, NFL teams have devalued the position, using Gurley and others as evidence of the short shelf life for bell-cow backs.

After five years and 1,265 carries, who knows how much Gurley has left to give at his highest level?