Rams Twitter has been quite busy since the season ended just a week ago. A new multi-billion dollar stadium on the horizon, a new set of uniforms, color schemes and logos coming soon, and now we are trading Todd Gurley?
At least that is what long-time LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke thinks the team should do.
This is quite the take. And this isn’t just some guy throwing this around. Bill has been a constant presence on ESPN’s Around the Horn for many years, he’s a columnist for one of the nation’s biggest newspapers, and he has over 168K followers on Twitter.
In his article, Bill painted a very bleak picture of a future Rams team floundering with Todd as the lead back. I will freely admit this past season was not a great one for Todd, he rarely exhibited the speed and quickness he had last season. Even GM Les Snead acknowledged it wasn’t the same Todd.
Here is the issue I have with this whole scenario and why I strongly disagree with Plaschke. Does a trade scenario exist wherein the Rams actually get better by getting rid of Gurley? Hell is there even a scenario in which they could break even? I certainly don’t think so.
The optics of the Gurley situation do not give the team a whole lot to stand on. A RB with an arthritic left knee, coming off a down year by his standards, and oh by the way he recently signed a 60 million dollar contract extension. What kind of deal does Bill think the Rams could really get? I mean he even acknowledged in his piece trading him was “not going to be pretty” and it “won’t reap a huge return”.
For a team with both limited salary space and draft capital, it just doesn’t make sense. Now Bill had some strong words, but I just do not see the numbers to back them up. According to Bill, resting him didn’t work, running him didn’t work, he even went so far as to say Gurley’s legs couldn’t carry him “past mediocrity”. Queue the TAKE QUAKE sirens!
I guess the Rams were really bad this year? Had a terrible offense? Well, no not really. Not even close. the Rams finished 11th in points scored, 7th in total yards, and 4th in passing yards. Those are very respectable finishes.
Yes, the team was 26th in rushing, but to say it crumbled the team is an overstatement.
What if I told you the team finished with more offensive yards than NINE of the teams who made the playoffs? I wouldn’t lie to you. The Rams finished better than the Seahawks (8th), Saints (9th), Titans (12th), Texans (13th), Eagles (14th), Patriots (15th), Vikings (16th), Packers (18th), and Bills (24th).
If that is what the team can do with a “less than” Todd Gurley, why would you get rid of him? We have seen what they can do with peak Gurley and it was simply dominating. Let’s not forget this is a player who was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year just two seasons ago and was the league leader in TD’s just last season. Also just for what it’s worth, Gurley finished with more rushing yards than Le’Veon Bell, who had 23 more carries than Gurley.
Bill’s article can be found here. See what you think
Bill would have you think Gurley is broken and so is the offense but that is just not the case. This was a team that was in playoff contention until week 16. The ball bounces a few different ways and this team is making another run in the playoffs. Fans tend to forget these players are people too, they are allowed to have a bad game or a rough season.
Gurley was not the star we have seen him be, but that’s ok. Last time I checked the rule book the other guys on the team were allowed to contribute too.
Football is a team game. It has been for 100 seasons and it will be for the next 100 seasons. A Rams team without Todd Gurley is a worse team.
Featured Image: The Spun and the Los Angeles Times