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|Todd Gurley was the key to the Los Angeles Rams‘ offensive transformation last season Brandon Parker Jersey Elite , and the Rams have rewarded their star running back with a game-changing contract. The NFL’s offensive player of the year agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract extension through 2023 with the Rams on Tuesday.
A person with knowledge of the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the terms weren’t publicly announced, confirmed to The Associated Press that Gurley’s contract extension contains $45 million in guaranteed money, a $20 million signing bonus and the NFL’s largest average annual value for a running back contract. ESPN first reported the terms.
General manager Les Snead said the Rams wanted ”to get ahead of the curve” by signing Gurley two years before his rookie contract expires. They’ve also set a new benchmark for running back salaries to secure a cornerstone of a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
”He’s a big part of who we are and where we’re going,” Snead said. ”It’s not only Todd, but a lot of guys we want to make Rams for a long time and be part of our core.”
Gurley isn’t due to report to training camp at UC Irvine until Wednesday. His first public reaction was to post a black-and-white Instagram photo of himself with a broad smile and the caption: ”Amazing…”
Gurley was a league standout in his third NFL season while playing in first-year coach Sean McVay’s explosive offense. He finished second in the NFL with 1,305 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns while catching 64 passes for 788 yards and six more TDs.
”What a special player he is,” McVay said. ”I think last year’s production isn’t really a (complete) reflection of the value he provides, because he did such a great job, but he’s so much more than that to our team – the way that he competes in protection, the way that he works, and the way that rubs off on his teammates.”
Along with being a handsome reward for a burgeoning NFL star, Gurley’s deal sets a new standard in the market for ball-carriers such as Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and Arizona’s David Johnson – and for Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell after he plays out this season on the franchise tag.
Bell, who received public support from Gurley during his contentious recent negotiations with the Steelers, returned the love on Twitter Alex Wood Los Angeles Dodgers Jersey , along with an additional comment about his own failure to get a big contract in Pittsburgh: ”lol and ppl thought I was trippin?”
Gurley was the offensive rookie of the year in 2015 for the Rams, rewarding their gamble on him with the 10th overall pick. He overcame a torn knee ligament in his final season with the Georgia Bulldogs to rush for 1,106 yards with St. Louis.
Gurley struggled as part of the NFL’s worst offense during the Rams’ relocation season in 2016, with his yards-per-carry average dropping from 4.8 to 3.2.
That average shot right back up to 4.7 last season while he starred for the NFC West champions behind a stout offensive line that had the same starters for 15 consecutive weeks. Gurley likely would have won the NFL rushing title if McVay hadn’t rested him for the Rams’ regular-season finale ahead of their playoff loss to Atlanta.
Gurley has also grown swiftly as a receiver in his three seasons, increasing his catches from 21 as a rookie to 43 and then 64 last season.
Gurley’s contributions to the Rams last season drew praise from Eric Dickerson, the most popular player in Los Angeles Rams history for his 1980s exploits as a record-setting running back. Steven Jackson, the Rams’ franchise rushing leader, also hailed Gurley’s contract Tuesday on Twitter.
”Great to see Les Snead and the (at)RamsNFL front office prioritize the running game!” Jackson tweeted. ”To not only draft (Gurley) early, but now lock him into a long-term deal to ensure he continues to thrive as a Ram is huge!”
The Rams haven’t been shy about securing several key pieces of their talented roster during this offseason, which began with the high-profile additions of Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Last week, Los Angeles signed receiver Brandin Cooks to a five-year, $80 million extension before he catches his first pass with the Rams.
But an even bigger issue still looms for Los Angeles: defensive tackle Aaron Donald still doesn’t have a new contract two days before the first practice of training camp.
Donald, the NFL’s defensive player of the year, and the Rams have been working on a long-term extension since early last year. The powerhouse lineman is seeking a game-changing contract that would make him one of the NFL’s highest-paid players, but hasn’t yet been successful.
Donald skipped all of training camp last year in a holdout, and he missed all of the Rams’ offseason activities this spring.
Snead and McVay acknowledged Donald might not report to training camp Wednesday Clay Matthews Jersey , but they weren’t sure about his plans. Snead is still in active negotiations with Donald’s representatives at CAA Sports.
”I do know we’ve still got time to get something done,” Snead said.
Donald is under contract for this season for nearly $6.9 million in the fifth year of his rookie contract.
”We’re simultaneously working to make Aaron a Ram a long time,” Snead said. ”That’s the goal. Aaron is a big part of who we are, where we want to go, but the details and all that, we’re going to continue the course of keeping them in-house.”
Mitchell Trubisky is tired of it all. The Chicago quarterback has no use for the critics. And when it comes to social media, he’s taking a breather, too.
All Trubisky wants is to start training camp and see just how far the Bears can go in his second season after finishing last in the NFC North the past four years.
They came into their first practice Friday believing they are in a better position after a busy offseason. Whether they deliver largely hinges on the guy behind center.
”I’m tired of all the doubts, all the comparisons,” Trubisky said. ”I don’t really pay attention to that. I’m tired of waiting. I’m just excited camp is here and we’ll see what we can do for Year 2. So all of that stuff, I can’t control none of that. All I can do is control my attitude and my effort and go out there and play the game the way I know how.”
Don’t ask him about the improvements Carson Wentz and Jared Goff made from Year 1 to Year 2 last season. Trubisky isn’t all that interested.
The same goes for any outside critiques and distractions, so he’s taking a break from social media.
”(I’m) going Zero Dark 10,” he said, referencing his jersey number.
Trubisky, who hasn’t posted on Twitter since July 2, said he and guard Kyle Long decided to lay off social media and focus on football Joe Mixon Jersey , instead.
”I’m trying to put all my focus and energy into this game and what I have to do,” he said. ”And whatever anyone else says on the outside, whether it be positive or negative or hype or just trying to tear me down, it really doesn’t matter to me. I know who I am, I know what kind of player I can be, I know my role on this team so that’s really what I’m looking forward to prove to myself and my team.”
Trubisky said he read a few too many comments from people who didn’t know what they were talking about. He saw no reason to ”let that enter my head,” so he decided to block it out completely.
”For me it’s just eliminating distractions and putting all my time and effort into what’s important,” he said.
As Trubisky goes, so probably go the Bears.
General manager Ryan Pace went all in when he traded up a spot with San Francisco to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, staking his reputation to a quarterback with just 13 starts at North Carolina. The Bears also spent this past offseason surrounding Trubisky with the pieces they think will help him succeed, hiring an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy, signing former Pro Bowl receiver Allen Robinson and bringing in some more play-making targets.
”The kid genuinely cares about the game of football and his position,” Nagy said. ”He wants to be the greatest teammate on this team and he knows that if he does that, he’ll make guys around him better.”
Trubisky is in a far different spot than he was this time last year, when he began camp as the No. 3 quarterback. The Bears switched to Trubisky after Mike Glennon struggled through the first four games. But it was clear even in the preseason that he was the better option.
Now, Trubisky is front and center. It is clearly his huddle Darius Leonard Colts Jersey , his team. He is the leader.
The training wheels are off. Or, as Long put it, ”He’s got some facial hair and he’s got some bass in his voice.”
And Trubisky welcomes it.
”I feel a lot more comfortable than last year,” he said. ”I know my role, I know exactly what I need to do, I know the offense. I can just go out there and be myself. I know everybody on the team, I’ve earned their respect and trust and I’ll continue to do so through my work ethic and how much I care about this team and this game.”
Notes: Rookie LB Roquan Smith remained unsigned and missed the first training camp practice. He was Chicago’s first-round draft pick at No. 8 overall. ”Roquan is a great kid, a great football player and when the time comes for him to be here, he’ll be out here and he’ll get those reps back,” Nagy said. … LB Danny Trevathan and CB Sherrick McMcManis missed practice because of hamstring injuries, while WR Josh Bellamy sat out because of strep throat, Nagy said. He said Trevathan’s and McManis’ injuries were not serious.
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