Rams release All-Pro running back Todd Gurley
Eagles bolster secondary by trading for Lions cornerback Darius Slay
The Los Angeles Rams have released Todd Gurley, their superstar running back with a massive contract and a troubling injury history.
The Rams made the move Thursday, several minutes before roughly $10 million US in the three-time Pro Bowl selection's contract became fully guaranteed.
Gurley will consume $20.15 million in dead salary cap space this season for the Rams, who signed the 2015 first-round pick to a four-year, $60 million contract with $45 million guaranteed in June 2018. Gurley was cut before even playing the first year of that contract extension, which made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL at the time.
Gurley had phenomenal seasons during his first two years in coach Sean McVay's offence, rushing for 1,305 yards in 2017 and 1,251 in 2018 as those Rams reached the Super Bowl. But Gurley had a persistent left knee injury that limited his effectiveness down the stretch in 2018, and those problems carried over to last season.
He rushed for a career-low 857 yards last year while playing sparingly, although McVay never acknowledged it was because of Gurley's knee issue.
Damn I got fired on my day off😂 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QuaratineAndChill?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QuaratineAndChill</a>—@TG3II
The Rams also announced the release of linebacker Clay Matthews on Thursday.
Matthews, 33, registered 37 tackles and eight sacks in 13 games last season with the Rams, his first since signing a two-year contract worth up to $9.25 million last offseason.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection (2009-12, 2014-15), Matthews was owed a $2 million bonus on Friday. By releasing him prior to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, the Rams saved that money and gain $3.75 million in cap space for 2020.
Matthews has recorded 519 tackles, 91.5 sacks and six interceptions in 156 career games with the Green Bay Packers (2009-18) and Rams.
Eagles acquire Slay in trade with Lions
Darius Slay got what he was waiting for — a trade out of Detroit and a big new contract.
The Lions agreed to trade Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles, ending the standout cornerback's seven-year stint in Detroit. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the trade Thursday and that Slay agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension with Philadelphia.
The Lions drafted Slay 36th overall in 2013, and he earned All-Pro honours in 2017. Slay wanted a new contract before last season and did not attend Detroit's mandatory minicamp. He ended up reporting to training camp and played well enough to earn a third Pro Bowl nod.
ESPN, citing an unidentified source, reported that the Lions will receive 2020 draft picks in the third and fifth rounds for Slay.
Broncos officially part with Flacco
Another veteran NFL quarterback is hitting the open market.
The Denver Broncos are waiving Joe Flacco with a failed physical designation, a person with knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce the decision.
Flacco went 2-6 as Denver's starter last season before a neck injury ended his season. He was eventually replaced by rookie Drew Lock, who went 4-1 down the stretch and was named the incumbent in 2020.
This week the Broncos agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with free agent Jeff Driskel, who will back up Lock.
The move to cut ties with Flacco comes with a $13 million cap hit for the Broncos in 2020, but it frees up $10 million to spend in free agency.
With files from Field Level Media