The move was made before $10.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on his contract. In July 2018, Los Angeles signed Gurley to a four-year, $60 million contract extension with $45 million in guarantees. The deal made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL at the time.
By deciding to release Gurley, the Rams are left with a $20.15 million dead-cap since he was released with a pre-June 1 designation. He is now free to sign with any team he chooses.
Gurley took to Twitter to respond to being released.
"D--- I got fired on my day off," he wrote.
"I would like to thank Todd for his many contributions to the Rams, on and off the field, since I have been here," head coach Sean McVay said. "He has meant a lot to my growth as a coach and leader and he will always be remembered as one of the all-time great Rams. I wish him nothing but the best."
On Wednesday, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported the Rams were willing to trade Gurley this offseason to offload his salary, and if they didn't find a trading partner, the team could release him.
The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons showed the most interest in Todd Gurley prior to his release, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Gurley became the face of the franchise after the Rams selected him with the No. 10 pick in the 2015 draft. The Georgia product was an All-Pro in 2017 and 2018, and he rushed for 1,251 yards with a league-high 21 touchdowns during the latter. However, his production dropped last season, and Gurley tallied a career-low 1,064 yards from scrimmage while still scoring 14 touchdowns.
As his playing time lessened in 2019, questions over the health of his knee, which was surgically repaired during college, continued to swirl.
The Rams, who finished third in the NFC West last season at 9–7, also released linebacker Clay Matthews on Thursday.