After a five-year beginning to his career, Todd Gurley, the 25-year-old running back out of Georgia, was released by the Los Angeles Rams.
Since being drafted 10th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, Gurley has remained one of the marquee running backs in the league. He won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015, when he rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns.
As the Rams continued their rebuilding and Gurley was recognized as one of the best running backs in the league, opposing defenses began to stack the box to impose their will on the young Ram. In his sophomore campaign, he finished with 885 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Over the next two years, Gurley would produce at an MVP level. In the Rams first breakout season, which included a playoff berth for the first time in over a decade, Gurley rushed for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017, winning Offensive Player of the Year, while finishing with 788 receiving yards and six touchdowns. The next season, the 2018 Rams Super Bowl season, Gurley rushed for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns, while finishing with 580 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Towards the tail end of the 2018 season, Gurley had a knee injury, where rumors began to circulate that the injury, combined with past knee injuries, left Gurley with severe arthritis and degenerating bone health. The rumors were put to test in 2019, when the Rams and Gurley underperformed. He rushed for only 857 yards but scored 12 rushing touchdowns. The Rams missed the playoffs.
With the NFL free agency period in full swing, the Rams released Gurley before $10.5 million of his contract was to be fully guaranteed. The Rams will still owe Gurley roughly $7 million in roster bonuses.
The next day, the Atlanta Falcons signed Gurley to a one-year contract, bringing him back to the state of Georgia.
Although pairing Gurley with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley sounds deadly, Gurley is no longer a workhorse, every down running back. The limitations on his knee were evident last season. But pairing him with other competent running backs and using him situationally could make for an exciting team and battle for the NFC South.