Falcons sign Todd Gurley

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On Thursday afternoon, running back Todd Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams after the team failed to find a trade suitor. It did not take long for us to learn which teams Gurley had interest in joining as a free agent, one of which was the Atlanta Falcons:

At first glance, it seemed perhaps Gurley just wanted to play in the southeast region of the country. As it turns out, he was gravitating towards two teams that had shown mutual interest on the trade market:

It took Gurley less than 24 hours to find a new organization: the Atlanta Falcons.

It goes without saying that Gurley’s salary with the Rams was a major complication in any sort of trade scenario for the Falcons, who are tight against the cap, but on a one-year, $5 million contract, this is a bargain. Atlanta was left with a vacancy at the running back position after cutting Devonta Freeman.

Gurley is an upgrade over Freeman, but it is worth keeping an eye on his physical. His arthritic knee indeed presented issues for him last season, as he went from the best running back in the league to averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. He is still a solid starter in this league, but his superstar days seem to be in the rearview mirror. This is an issue that will not disappear. In fact, arthritis typically only gets worse, so this decision has red flags not only from a financial but also from a medical standpoint.

With that being said, Gurley is as talented as they come, is still just 25 years old, and is a fan favorite in Atlanta after being the star running back at the University of Georgia. It is merely a one-year deal, so there is no long-term financial commitment. He will not count against the compensatory pick formula, as he was cut by his former team. Now, the Falcons can focus on addressing the defense in the draft.

This could end up being an incredible move for Atlanta, but there some question marks about what they will truly be getting. With that being said, few moves have higher upside.

 

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