Todd Gurley was cut from the Los Angles Rams on Tuesday, March 19. His tough year last year would end up leading to his dismal from the team. Even though he had one bad year he still is a very talented player at the beginning of his career. So why in the world would the Rams cut him? The Rams had many players they had to either sign, trade, or release this offseason. After considering their options with each player they would end up releasing most of them including OLB Clay Mathews. The news turned out all right for Gurley as a day later the Falcons picked him up. With Freeman gone, it is Gurley’s spot to lose on this Falcons offense.
How the new team will be affected
The Falcons finished the year 7-9 and held the second-place spot in the division last year. This was a decent finish for a team that just played like they were struggling the whole season. Well, it felt like that anyway, no one can even remember when the Falcons won 4 in a row to start the year. This is because they ended the year losing 7 out of 8. The biggest positive from last year is that Matt Ryan can still throw and Julio Jones is still a great receiver. Both eclipsed the top 5 in passing and receiving yards. Now they add Todd Gurley from the Rams, but is this really a good idea?
Two years ago Gurley was instrumental to get his team to the Super Bowl and now he got cut from the exact same team. Something just isn’t adding up. Well, the Rams cut Gurley because they thought he wasn’t worth the money they were due to pay him. That plus an injury-prone left knee had Gurley limited throughout the year. Now if you look back at Gurley’s numbers there isn’t enough there to just cut him. He was injured and was playing through problems in the left knee for the whole year. His numbers are good if he is able to stay healthy, and that is a risk the Falcons just took. If he can stay healthy this team will add to a crowded NFC South and be in the playoff conversation.
How old team be affected
The Rams just gave up their star running back who helped take the pressure off their young QB in Jared Goff. With fewer stars around Goff, I don’t know what is going to stop the defense from getting to the QB. The Rams are left with a huge void at running back and will have to scramble to fill it. They don’t really have many options going for them. The most likely option is they get a back in the draft and let him slowly work into the NFL. By that I mean the Rams will probably have a committee at running back and let the rookie slowly move into the position. That might be able to help Goff, but I would expect teams to go after him considering there isn’t a proven running back out there. The Rams just don’t have a proven balanced attack anymore. If I am a defensive coordinator and my team is about to play the Rams, I would feel confident in my gameplan. I know I can either let my linebackers float in the middle of the field and pick Goff apart or I can blitz them and get sacks or turnovers. I’m not disrespecting the Rams offensive line or their running backs. They simply don’t have enough firepower right now to be on the level with the good teams of this conference.
Is the player worth the amount of money
Todd Gurley agreed to a 1 year 6 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Falcons. He will total 11 million dollars on the year with the bonus he gets from the Rams. His contract is the 11th best out of the running backs in the league which is pretty good. With the bonus though he would come up number 4. Todd had a rough year last year and considering he just got cut, number 11 is pretty good, Not to mention he will be making even more with the bonus. This is a great deal for Todd and the Falcons as both are coming out of this deal happy.
Gurley was a top back in many fantasy drafts after good production in the years before. Last year was an absolute let down for all the fantasy owners who drafted Gurley. The problem was inconsistency. Gurley scored below 10 points 5 times last year, which is just a bad number for an RB1. The only positive from last year’s campaign is that he was able to score 15 plus in the 4 weeks of the fantasy playoffs (weeks 13-16). If I’m being completely honest, I am not drafting Todd this year. He is just too injury prone and I really don’t trust he will be healthy for the whole season. There is one thing for sure that will happen to Todd this year, he will have a massive chip on his shoulder. If he can somehow channel that emotion and have a good year I wouldn’t be surprised. If you can get Gurley in the 5th or 6th round he might be worth the pick. Anything early then that and it’s just too risky for me. Todd will bring another dimension to the offense, but for me this year he will be an RB2. As for the rest of his team, I expect Julio and Matt to be WR1 and QB1 in their respective positions.
The Falcons are in the hardest division to play football this year. Even though they are now a good team, they still have to play Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, and Drew Bress twice. These QBs are definitely going to be able to lead their teams to wins and it’s going to be a struggle for Atlanta. Their defense isn’t very good and they are going to make some moves in order to win. This team could be in contention if they end up pulling out some wins, but otherwise, I think it will be tough to win. The division games are what is going to be the biggest struggle for this team. If they can win a few then they just might have a chance of getting in.
The Falcons are in one of the worst positions for a playoff spot with the NFC being good and the division being even better. It will come down to whether they can grab the wild card spot. There are 3 spots and it looks like 1 or 2 will be in the division for sure. The NFC West will have a few good teams and it will be a tough path for the Falcons. If the Falcons get the 3rd place spot in the NFC South they might have a chance to get in. They have experience and just maybe this team will click and make it. Ultimately I think this team will fall just short of the playoffs.
Top picture by Mark Terrill from the Associated Press