Last week, the Atlanta Falcons made a splash by signing 3x Pro Bowler and 2x First Team All Pro running back Todd Gurley following his release by the Los Angeles Rams. Gurley, who played collegiality for the University of Georgia is returning home, and he shared his excitement on the fresh start in Atlanta with his former teammate, Chris Long via his Green Light podcast.
“It’s definitely a good feeling. For a new start, for a fresh start for me,” Gurley said. “It’s really like a next chapter in my career. What is funny is I remember the process my rookie year with you, I’ve seen them let you go. You and James (Laurinaitis) on the same night and Robert Quinn, (Alec) Ogletree and Mark Barron. I always witnessed that from the beginning for sure.”
Gurley was abruptly released by the Rams largely due to financial reasons, and they’re even paying him $7.5 million in 2020 to suit up for the Falcons. When word got out that he was cut, Falcons’ star Julio Jones showed up for his friend and now teammate.
“The dude that came over to my house as soon as I got cut, Julio and Deandre, they both pulled up to the house and checked up on me,” Gurley said. “Chopping it up with Julio. That’s why I was like, I’m trying to get to the A. Going back to Georgia. Going back home. I was waiting for it.”
#Falcons Qadree Ollison has 30, wonder what Gurley will wear.— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) March 28, 2020
Current RB #’s available: 21, 24, 29, 31, 32, 36, 38, 43, 44, 46, 48, 49.
*Falcons don’t officially retire numbers but nobody has used 31 since William Andrews retired in 1986. https://t.co/78IcL9GoCR
When the Falcons’ new uniforms are revealed in April prior to the 2020 NFL Draft, Gurley’s jersey will no doubt be a hot commodity among Falcons and Bulldogs fans. Which number Gurley will wear is still up in the air.
“I’m thinking about changing it up,” Gurley said. “I know 21. I can go down there like Prime Time (Deion Sanders). Like 21 maybe, 23.. I might switch it up. I’m not a 25 type of dude.”
Gurley won’t be able to use 23, as it’s currently used by running back Brian Hill. Also, it’s okay if Gurley isn’t the 25 type, because that number is currently worn by running back Ito Smith. Gurley does however have a past against the NFC South from his many years with the Rams. He’s kept an eye on the division, and knows it won’t be a cake walk.
“NFC South, that’s a good one. I’ve played the Saints and the Bucs like twice,” Gurley said. “It’s going to be tough. They’ve got some good running backs Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, and Tom Brady just signed with the Bucs. I just signed with the Falcons. I get to play with one of the best receivers in the game in Julio Jones. We’ve got a young dude in Calvin Ridley. They just got Hayden Hurst. New Orleans is tough. They’ve got Cam Jordan over there. He’s one of the best in the game. One of the strongest. Shaq Thompson. It’s going to be some good competition for sure.”
In all the Falcons got Gurley on a low-risk, potentially high-reward one year deal which could blossom into an extension if things go according to plan. He’s only 25, and the only real question is his health as the Rams slowed his workload in recent years. Even then, Gurley still had 14 touchdowns last year. He brings a star power to Atlanta which will not only bring excitement to the stands but hopefully to the field as well.