The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly signing Todd Gurley II, the former UGA and Los Angeles standout running back, pending a physical for a back that health concerns have followed around for the last couple of seasons.
Gurley was unceremoniously cut only two years after signing the biggest running back deal in NFL history at the time, $60 million over four years. He’s joined Atlanta for a single year and $5 million, a great chance for him to show he’s healthy and land his next big deal.
Per NFL League source.. Todd Gurley will get $5-million for the one year with the Falcons— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) March 20, 2020
Of course, shortly after signing that last big deal, Gurley’s usage plummeted along with his performance. The team never confirmed the 2019 report that Gurley had arthritis is his surgically repaired knee, but it is clear he has not been fully healthy in well over a year.
Those concerns did not stop the Falcons. Minutes after the first report rolled in, Atlanta essentially confirmed the signing, again pending a physical and taking into account that teams aren’t allowed to report news right now because everything is weird.
Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Gurley was interested in both Atlanta and Miami. Gurley was a monster in nearby Athens at UGA, and was likely under consideration when the Falcons ultimately selected Vic Beasley. The Rams selected Gurley two spots later. He obviously wanted to return to Georgia.
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic said the Falcons had interest in Gurley, but obviously their level of interest depends on the money and his knee. Thomas Dimitroff has to be hoping this signing is more Michael Turner than Steven Jackson.
Gurley helps free up the Falcons in the draft, who needed a starter-worthy back with only replacement-level runners left on the roster. Gurley is certain to start and the team should add mostly defensive players in the upcoming draft.