Todd Gurley, Rams Agree to 4-Year Contract Extension Worth Reported $60M

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley smiles on the sidelines before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Running back Todd Gurley has developed into one of the best running backs in the NFL, and the Los Angeles Rams rewarded him with a new contract Tuesday.

Rams head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead confirmed to reporters that Gurley has agreed to a contract extension.

"Feel fortunate to be able to work with players like Todd," McVay said.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it's a four-year deal through the 2023 season worth up to $60 million with $45 million guaranteed.

Schefter noted Gurley's guaranteed money and average annual salary are the most for any running back in NFL history.

Gurley is coming off a second-place finish in last year's MVP voting, but his coach still thinks there's room for him to get better.

"Even as great of a player as Todd is, I think there's always room for improvement," McVay told reporters.

The Rams selected Gurley with the No. 10 overall pick of the 2015 draft out of Georgia, and he had a fifth-year option for 2019 on his rookie contract before agreeing to this new deal.

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Star running back Le'Veon Bell, who is in a contract standoff with the Pittsburgh Steelers, reacted to the news:

Le'Veon Bell @LeVeonBell

lol and ppl thought I was trippin?...

There is little doubt Gurley outplayed his old contract given his production during the first three seasons of his career. He spearheaded Los Angeles' NFC West title in 2017 with 1,305 rushing yards, 788 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns while the team finished 11-5 after a 4-12 effort in 2016.

Gurley struggled some during that 2016 campaign (3.2 yards per carry on his way to 885 rushing yards), but he impressed as a rookie with 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Still, the two-time Pro Bowler earned his new contract largely because of his showing in 2017 in his first year under McVay's coaching. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, he joined O.J. Simpson and Marshall Faulk as the only three players in NFL history to tally 2,000 yards from scrimmage, 10 rushing touchdowns and five touchdown catches in the same year.

NFL Total Access compared his production favorably to the numbers Adrian Peterson put up during his MVP campaign for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012:

NFL Total Access @NFLTotalAccess

We 👀 you @TG3II 😏 https://t.co/fl7UO4xux3

Gurley fits in perfectly with McVay's offense, and there figures to be even more production moving forward considering he is only 23 years old.

If Gurley continues to improve and thrive as one of the best offensive playmakers in the NFL, his new deal will be well worth it from Los Angeles' perspective.

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