Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley Passes Falcons Physical

Two months after agreeing to join the Falcons, Todd Gurley has finally taken and passed his team physical (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). At long last, everything is signed, sealed, and delivered, silencing any whispers about his condition.

[RELATED: Falcons Gain ~$11MM In Cap Room]

Up until this week, Gurley wasn’t able to fly to Atlanta due to the pandemic. That’s been the case for many NFL players – especially free agents changing teams – but some wondered if Gurley’s injured knee was far from football-ready. In mid-May, even Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said he wasn’t quite sure what he going on.

The main question that no one seems to know is, ‘What’s his health status?,Koetter said.

All along, those close to Gurley insisted that his recovery was on track. Last year, the knee injury clearly hampered the two-time All-Pro. In 2019, he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and just 6.7 yards per reception. Prior to that, he managed 40 all-purpose touchdowns between ’17 and ’18 while averaging 4.8 yards per tote.

If Gurley flunked his physical, the Falcons would have had an opportunity to escape the one-year, $11MM deal, but they also would have had to restart their running back search. Fortunately, it seems that everything has worked out. The Falcons have Gurley to replace Devonta Freeman, and they’ll only have $6MM of Gurley’s salary on the books thanks to the Rams’ obligation, plus offset pay.

Gurley, a University of Georgia product, will be backed in Atlanta by Ito Smith and Brian Hill.

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Jets, Falcons, Rams, Bears To Gain Cap Room Via Post-June 1 Cuts

The Bears, Falcons, Jets, and Rams will gain additional cap space starting Tuesday, as Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. The extra flexibility comes from the following releases that have been designated as post-June 1 cuts: 

Players released after June 1 can have their remaining cap charge spread out across two seasons, rather than one. These four players were released earlier this year, but designated as post-June 1 cuts to smooth out the dead money.

For these teams, a chunk of this money will go towards funding the incoming rookie class. However, there will still be some room left over for summer upgrades, thanks to the top-51 rule. In the case of the Falcons, they’ll have about $8.25MM to spend, as Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic notes.

The additional space could jumpstart talks for June’s best remaining free agents, a group that includes defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, cornerback Logan Ryan, and guard Larry Warford. The Jets probably won’t go for Clowney, but they’ve shown serious interest in Ryan and Warford would make some sense for them if they want to upgrade over Brian Winters.

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Todd Gurley Still Hasn’t Taken His Falcons Physical

In March, the Falcons agreed to sign Todd Gurley to a one-year deal. Weeks later, in early April, they officially the agreement, though Gurley had yet to actually sign his deal or take his physical. We’re now midway through May and Gurley still hasn’t taken a physical for Atlanta, according to offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

[RELATED:Falcons To Consider Competition For Younghoe Koo]

The main question that no one seems to know is, ‘What’s his health status?,” Koetter said.

NFL players have not been able to take undergo traditional physicals during the pandemic, so it’s not a shock to hear that Gurley hasn’t been checked out by the Falcons’ team doctors yet. Other free agents have had physicals conducted with independent and mutually agreed upon doctors, but Koetter’s comments seem to indicate that the Falcons are in the dark, to a degree, when it comes to their new running back.

For what it’s worth, those close to Gurley say that he is in minimal pain and healing up about as well as anyone could have expected. Once things get back to normal, the Falcons will want to take a close look at Gurley’s knee and formulate a game plan to keep him on the field. That injury has plagued the two-time All-Pro. With the Rams last year, he averaged just 3.8 yards per tote and just 6.7 yards per catch. Prior to that, he managed 40 all-purpose touchdowns between ’17 and ’18 while averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

“What’s his workload?,” Koetter asked, rhetorically (via ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure). “He averaged about 17 touches a game last year, which is a little lower than he had been when he was All-Pro. We’re just gonna have to find that out once we get here and get him working, get him up and running.”

In a worst case scenario, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff says the team has injury protection on Gurley’s deal. Assuming everything checks out, Gurley will star in the Falcons’ backfield on a one-year, $11MM deal. Only $6MM of that figure comes from the Falcons’ books – the Rams are on the hook for $7.5MM and the rest ($2.5MM) comes by way of offset pay.

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NFC West Notes: Rams, Irvin, 49ers, TE

Clay Matthews will file a grievance against the Rams over more than $2MM in unpaid guarantees, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Todd Gurley, however, will not submit one, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Gurley is owed a $7.55MM roster bonus, though offset language from his Falcons deal can reduce that to nearly $5.05MM, per McClure. The Rams, who released both players in March, said each player will receive his respective bonus payment. But the team believes neither payment is due for some time. Matthews’ two-year Rams deal included a $5.5MM guarantee, and Fowler adds that his contract contained $2MM in offset language. That would explain the reason for the delay. The Rams are likely waiting to see if another team will end up signing the veteran pass rusher. That would save the Rams the $2MM.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Despite Bruce Irvin having lined up as a defensive end in his four seasons away from Seattle — with the Raiders, Falcons and Panthers — the Seahawks are listing him as an outside linebacker. Going into the draft, the team viewed Irvin as an option to play off the ball in base sets before lining up as an end on passing downs, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). But the Seahawks used a first-round pick on Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks and possess a greater need at defensive end. Irvin did, however, play this hybrid role for the bulk of his first Seahawks stint.
  • Although the 49ers drafted Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner in the sixth round, he projects as more of a blocking tight end. The team is looking to add a receiving tight end to play behind George Kittle, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required). UDFA Ross Dwelley filled in for Kittle while he missed time due to injury last season, but the ex-San Diego Torero averaged just 6.1 yards per reception on 15 grabs. The top free agent available is former 49er Delanie Walker, but the Titans released him after two injury-marred seasons. Jordan Reed, who played under Kyle Shanahan with the Redskins in 2013, may be a name to monitor as well. But Reed has dealt with numerous injuries during his career.
  • With the 49ers trading Matt Breida, their backfield group looks clearer. Once rumored as a trade candidate, Tevin Coleman now appears a lock to be back with the 49ers in 2020, Barrows adds. Coleman and special-teamer-turned-breakout back Raheem Mostert are almost certain to return, with the 49ers still rostering Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson. McKinnon will be the obvious wild card, given that he’s missed two full seasons.

Rams Rumors: Kupp, Goff, Gurley, Matthews

The latest on the Rams:

  • With one year left on his deal, wide receiver Cooper Kupp says he isn’t sweating the Rams for an extension. “There’s so much going on in the world right now,” Kupp said (Twitter link via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times). “It’s not really a priority at this time.” Cupp, 27 in June, managed 94 catches, 1,161 yards, and ten touchdowns last year – all career highs.
  • If the Rams need additional cap room, Jared Goff is open to a restructuring of his deal. “I don’t see why not,” said the quarterback, who added that it’s a matter to be discussed between his agent and Rams COO Kevin Demoff (Twitter link via Omar Ruiz of NFL.com). Thanks to the four-year, $134MM extension he signed last fall, Goff is under contract with L.A. through 2024.
  • After parting ways with the Rams, running back Todd Gurley and linebacker Clay Matthews said that the team was late on money they were still owed. In an interview on the NFL Network, GM Les Snead said that they will, in fact, get their bonus checks. However, the Rams disagree with Gurley and Matthews on the language of the contracts – the Rams believe that they’re not due to pay for some time. The Rams, in theory, could wait until other clubs pick up part of the tab via offset language.

NFC West Notes: Rams, Gurley, 49ers

Todd Gurley and Clay Matthews are still waiting on checks from the Rams, as Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com writes. Both players were jettisoned on March 19, but they believe they are still entitled to bonuses, per the terms of their contracts.

Past due,” Gurley tweeted at the Rams. “Send me money ASAP.”

You and me both TG!,” Matthews responded. “Better get some interest with that, too.”

Obviously, both players are better off than most during these unprecedented times, but they may have a case. The Rams owed Gurley a fully-guaranteed $7.55MM roster bonus on the third day of the league year. Even though the Rams will get some of that back from the Falcons, Gurley argues that he’s still owed a check. Matthews, meanwhile, has a similar case for his $2MM roster bonus.

While we wait to see how that plays out, here’s more from the NFC West:

  • Paycheck drama aside, the Rams must also figure out how they’ll replace Gurley in the offense. In an interview with Rich Eisen (Twitter link), head coach Sean McVay pointed to the potential of Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, but also indicated that the Rams could explore running backs in the draft. Surely, the RB position is on their list of needs, but they’ve got other holes to fill, including wide receiver thanks to the trade that sent Brandin Cooks to the Texans. Of course, they’ll also have more to work with on draft weekend, thanks to the second-round pick they acquired from Houston.
  • Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports expects the 49ers to take a wide receiver with the No. 13 overall pick. Of course, they’ll also take a hard look at offensive tackles, defensive linemen, and cornerbacks in the early stages of the draft, but talents like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and CeeDee Lamb might be too tempting to pass up.
  • The 49ers also hold the No. 31 pick, but Matt Barrows of The Athletic doesn’t expect them to keep it. Instead, he sees them trading down to add to their arsenal. As of this writing, the Niners own Nos. 13, 31, 156, 176, 210, 217, and 245.

Falcons GM Says Todd Gurley’s Deal Includes Injury Protection

Like most deals this offseason, Todd Gurley‘s contract has yet to be 100% finalized. This week, the Falcons announced that they have “agreed to terms” with Gurley, though the star running back has yet to take his physical.

[RELATED: Cardinals Have “No Concern” Over Hopkins Trade]

Despite Gurley’s knee trouble, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff isn’t too worried about the situation. Meanwhile, if any red flags pop up, he says the team is well covered.

We looked closely at it. We have language our contracts that will protect us and the player.” the GM said (Twitter link via William McFadden of the team website). “We’re not looking at it that way…[we’re] very comfortable with it.”

Last year, Gurley was limited to just 223 carries – the lowest total in any of his five pro seasons. The Falcons are hoping to get a full season out of the longtime Rams star, who still managed 1,000+ all-purpose yards despite the setback. The Falcons, meanwhile, have gone two full seasons without a running back hitting the 1,000-yard mark, or even the 900-yard mark.

Gurley is set to take over for Devonta Freeman, who was released in March amidst injury concerns of his own. Ito Smith, Brian Hill, and Qadree Ollison sit behind him on the depth chart, though the RB group could be shuffled between now and the start of the season. Gurley will work to get back to his old form, which saw him lead the league in rushing touchdowns in both 2017 and 2018.

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Falcons Announce Todd Gurley Deal

Weeks after the deal was reported, the Falcons announced that they have agreed to terms with Todd Gurley. However, Gurley has yet to take/pass his physical, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

Given Gurley’s medical history, that’s more than just a formality. Gurley hasn’t looked the same since his late-2018 knee injury – last year, the two-time All-Pro averaged just 3.8 yards per carry for the Rams and just 6.7 yards per reception. Before that, Gurley managed 40 all-purpose touchdowns between 2017 and 2018 while averaging 4.8 yards per tote.

Still, there’s a virtual handshake deal in place. Gurley is set to earn $11MM in total this year, with $7.5MM coming from the Rams, $6MM on the Falcons’ books, and an offset of $2.5MM. With that, Gurley will be one of the three highest-compensated running backs in the NFL.

In Atlanta, Gurley will replace the recently released Devonta Freeman. The University of Georgia product will be backstopped by Ito Smith and Brian Hill in his homecoming. 

No one’s exactly sure what to expect from Gurley after his shaky season, but he stayed largely healthy in 2019 and he’ll have another year of recovery under his belt. If Gurley returns to his old form, or even 80% of it, the Falcons could have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league.

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Falcons To Sign Todd Gurley

That didn’t take long. On Friday, the Falcons formally announced the signing of running back Todd Gurley

Gurley has agreed to a one-year deal with Atlanta, less than 24 hours after being let go by the Rams. One important thing to note: Gurley, who has been plagued by injuries, may still need to undergo a physical with the team before the deal is all legal eagle. Of course, that’s not possible at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the league’s restrictions on travel.

Soon after Gurley was cut loose, we heard that Gurley was interested in joining the Falcons or Dolphins. The Falcons were the perfect fit for Gurley, a University of Georgia product who can occupy the role once filled by Devonta Freeman. Backed by Ito Smith and Brian Hill, Gurley will try to get back to his old form in familiar surroundings.

Gurley was an NFL megastar just a couple of years ago. Between 2017 and 2018, Gurley racked up 40 touchdowns and roughly 4,000 yards from scrimmage. And, in 2018, he signed a four-year, $57.5MM extension with the Rams that rebooted the running back market.

Here’s the breakdown of his new deal, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Gurley will earn $11MM in total with $7.5MM coming from the Rams, $6MM on the Falcons’ books, and a $2.5MM offset. It all adds up to a one-year deal that keeps Gurley as one of the NFL’s three highest-paid running backs.

Unfortunately, the knee injury he suffered near the end of the ’18 campaign changed things and hasn’t looked like the same player since. Father Time is not kind to running backs; nor is the injury bug. Still, no one would be surprised if Gurley thrives with the Falcons in his age-26 season.

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Todd Gurley Eyeing Falcons, Dolphins?

Now a free agent after being released by the Rams earlier today, Todd Gurley is free to choose his next destination. At this early stage, the veteran running reportedly has the Falcons and Dolphins on his list of potential landing spots, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Additionally, Atlanta and Miami were the two teams that expressed the most trade interest in Gurley before he was cut by Los Angeles, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Atlanta looks like a clear contender to add a running back at some point this offseason, as the club’s backfield depth chart is currently headlined by Ito Smith and Brian Hill following the release of Devonta Freeman. Freeman, the Falcons’ starter for the past five years, saw 71 targets in 2019 (10th among running backs), so Gurley’s pass-catching prowess would likely be put to use in Atlanta. Plus, it probably doesn’t hurt that Gurley spent his collegiate time at the University of Georgia.

Miami, meanwhile, already inked ex-Eagles running back Jordan Howard to a two-year, $10MM pact earlier this week, adding him to an RB room that also includes Kalen Ballage, Patrick Laird, and Myles Gaskin. Gurley would further crowd the Dolphins’ depth chart, but head coach Brian Flores — taking a cue from his history with the Patriots — probably wouldn’t be afraid of a running back-by-committee approach.

Every NFL free agent will be affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, but perhaps none more so than Gurley, whose chronic knee issues surely have interested teams concerned. Indeed, it remains to be seen if a club will take a chance on Gurley’s health without the benefit on an in-person physical.

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