Rams release Todd Gurley, reported mutual interest between back and Falcons

Zach Hood

Thursday morning, word began to break out of Los Angeles that running Rams back Todd Gurley was being made available in a trade. 

The University of Georgia product is adored in the Atlanta area due to his standout tenure with the Bulldogs that resulted in Gurley being selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

As reported by Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, however, the Atlanta Falcons said they would have had a difficult time maneuvering their cap situation (shocking) to acquire Gurley, especially with the presumed addition of high-priced pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. 

Hours later, the Rams released Gurley, putting him on the open market. 

The Falcons put themselves on a list of perspective teams earlier in the day when expressed interest in the former Bulldog star. The move was strictly about money for the Rams, who elected not to move forward with the star back.

Here's a look at what Gurley's contract would have been over the next four years. While none of this money the trading team would have acquired was guaranteed, paying an aging back this kind of money in the current market has typically represented disaster for franchises.

Josina Anderson reported that two of Gurley's preferred destinations are the Falcons and the Miami Dolphins.

Later in the evening Adam Schefter reported that the Falcons and Dolphins had shown the most interest Gurley in recent trade talks between the Rams and other clubs.

 With Gurley now on the open market, it's far more realistic that he could become a Falcon in 2020. While it remains to be seen if Thomas Dimitroff and company are willing to actually bid on him, they now don't have to worry about that high cap hit for this and future seasons. 

There are legitimate concerns regarding Gurley's health, especially after the Rams elected to let go of a guy who was one of the top backs in the league in 2017 and 2018. The Falcons limited amount of cap space means any deal with Gurley would likely have to be fairly modest.