Reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley has gotten a big contract extension that is for four-years and $60 million, with $45 million of it being guaranteed.
The Rams have now locked up some of their better skill position players this off season after they locked up wide receiver Brandin Cooks last week.
As a rookie in 2015, Gurley ran for just over 1,100 yards in only 13 games en route to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. That year was followed up by a down year where he stayed healthy, but only ran for 885 yards, but last season in Sean McVay’s first season Gurley exploded and ran for just over 1,300 yards while leading the league in rushing touchdowns with 13. Not only was he great on the ground, but he also caught 64 passes for 788 yards and 6 touchdowns, leading him to have over 2,000 total yards from scrimmage, which lead the league, and 19 total touchdowns, which also lead the league.
About the extension with Gurley, Rams head coach Sean McVay had the following to say: “I think last year’s production isn’t really a reflection of the value he provides because he did such a great job, but he’s so much more than that to our team — the way that he competes in protection, the way that he works, and the way that rubs off on his teammates. And it’s a great reflection of the job by Les, [VP football and business administration] Tony Pastoors, and [EVP of football operations] Kevin Demoff to be able to kind of target a lot of these core guys.”
Coming off of a year in which he won Offensive Player of the Year, the Rams really had no choice but to pay him. What is interesting for Los Angeles though is that superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald is still without a contract and now he has watched the team pay Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley in the last week. My guess is that he’s frustrated about that and it’s a situation the Rams will need to figure out sooner than later.
Other winners of this deal besides Gurley are guys like Cardinals running back David Johnson and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, both of whom are seeking new contracts. This is the largest per-year contract a running back has ever gotten and it is the most guaranteed money a running back has ever gotten, and given the fact that Johnson and Bell both catch passes like Gurley does there’s no reason they shouldn’t at least be in this ballpark when they finally get paid.