When news broke that the Los Angeles Rams cut star Todd Gurley, the running back’s initial response was to joke that he’d been fired on his day off.
The reaction was the best response a player could have to being released from a big-money contract. Gurley told former teammate Chris Long on the “Green Light” podcast that while being jettisoned surprised him, he understands the business of football.
“I didn’t see it coming, but obviously I’ve seen the process over the years, so I understand the business and I understand how it goes,” Gurley said, via SCN Jason Slack. “But I’m also the same type of person like when someone else is getting cut, I’m joking on them. So I can’t get mad if somebody jokes on me. I joke on myself all the time. If you knew me, you know that’s me. And it’s all jokes. It’s some truth to every little joke.
“But I’m still just having fun with it. And that’s the only thing I can do. Stuck in the house all day. I know people are drinking and having fun, so I’m going to have fun with y’all.”
Questions about Gurley’s future in L.A. swirled from the end of the season until his release. The Rams decided to eat nearly $20 million in dead money, after offsets, instead of keeping a former star who has dealt with knee issues and saw his touches reduced.
Dealing with his knee issue, L.A. curtailed Gurley’s touches during its run to the Super Bowl in 2018. His struggles continued in 2019 as he lacked his normal explosiveness, and the Rams continued to reduce his carries.
Gurley told Long he didn’t complain about his decline in touches in L.A.
“I try not to press the issue about nothing, so that’s just kind of, just sit back and do my job,” Gurley said. “Like it’s not my job to tell who to give me the ball, so if it happens, it happens. I’m not going to b—- about anything. I’m just going to keep quiet and do my part. But when I get the ball, you know I’m going to do good with it for the most part, especially when stuff is going good. But I don’t know what happened, man. All I know is I’m with the Falcons now.”
The 25-year-old signed a $6 million deal in Atlanta where he will immediately be the best back on the group, especially if the knee holds up. With the Rams on the hook to pay him $5 million this season, Gurley is slated to make $11 million in 2020. Given the running back market, you can understand Gurley’s positive demeanor.