Todd Gurley More Than A Running Back

“That’s how he earned that money," Joe Curley says, "not as a running back, but as a complete offensive weapon – and a legitimate MVP candidate.”

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
August 06, 2018 - 11:06 am
NFL: Los Angeles Rams-Training Camp

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Todd Gurley appears to be one happy man. 

Gurley recently signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams, resetting the market for running backs. He also set an NFL record for the highest guaranteed money at his position ($45 million) and is being handsomely rewarded as one of the league’s best players.

Looking through the team’s top storylines heading into this upcoming season, Ventura County Star reporter Joe Curley spoke in-depth about two-time Pro-Bowler’s massive extension and its importance for the Rams’ future. He opened by jokingly referencing Gurley’s already-iconic line that he gave shortly after the signing.

“What was the line?” Curley said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Anybody that says money doesn’t make you happy was lying? He certainly earned it.”

Comparing Gurley to Le'Veon Bell, Curley thought negotiations between the Rams and their franchise player could have easily gone down a similar path. However, in the end, the organization did what they thought was necessary to keep Gurley in the fold for years to come.

“I was getting ready for the type of scenario that we’ve seen in Pittsburgh with Le'Veon Bell,” Curley said. “I wasn’t sure that they were going to open up the checkbook and give him the biggest guarantee of any running back in NFL history, but he’s earned it because Los Angeles is obviously a city of stars. Despite a glittering roster with some of the bigger names in football and a lot of big stars, Todd Gurley is the Rams’ star. In this market with a new franchise, he’s a very important piece in what they are trying to do in Los Angeles and they paid him accordingly.”

In terms of Gurley’s diverse skill set, Curley views Los Angeles’s young superstar as more than just simply a running back — much more.

“I don’t think he’s just a running back,” Curley said. “When you look at his impact as a runner and as a receiver — he was one of the top-30 receivers in just his receiving stats last year, but the other thing that people don’t talk about with Todd Gurley is he was one of only three starters at his position last year to not give up a sack. This is somebody who, in the middle of the year last year, Rams fans were tweeting me and saying, ‘Why aren’t we giving him the ball 20 to 25 times? Feed Gurley.’ One of the reasons was that they couldn’t afford to get him banged up. His impact on the passing game is just so huge. Whether he’s running screens, or running down the middle of the field being a safety, or if he’s just pass blocking for Jared Goff and keeping that whole machine running offensively. This is a guy who was taken off the field on third downs under the previous administration, and he’s really become one of the biggest weapons on third downs in the entire league.

“That’s how he earned that money. Not as a running back, but as a complete offensive weapon, and a legitimate MVP candidate.”