Lions Host Free Agent All-Pro RB Todd Gurley for a Visit

Todd Gurley with the Rams
Todd Gurley with the Rams. Photo by Charles Baus/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The quarterback-running back duo that got the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl appearance in 2018 might have an unexpected reunion in Detroit.

According to the NFL Network, the Lions hosted running back Todd Gurley for a free agent visit earlier this week, and there’s a good chance that the 26-year-old Pro Bowler will receive a contract offer at some point. The organization is banking on a connection that Gurley has with quarterback Jared Goff, whom they acquired from the Rams as part of the Matthew Stafford trade earlier in the offseason.

Despite his glowing resume, which includes multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods and an NFL Offensive Player of the Year award, Gurley had a limited market this year. This is because teams have been concerned about his injury history as well as an unproductive 2020 NFL season.

Gurley started 15 games for the Atlanta Falcons last year and finished the campaign with nine touchdowns. However, he had career-low 678 rushing yards and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. His contribution in the passing game, in which he was once a reliable weapon, was also limited.

Still, the Lions can take the gamble, considering that Gurley wouldn’t be a significant financial burden. There is a chance that the change of scenery will help Gurley rediscover some of his previous form, and he’s still young enough (26) to have several good years left in him. Detroit would also not have to count on him to be their leading back, considering they have D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams in the backfield as well.

Gurley was once considered one of the best running backs in the league, making three Pro Bowls and receiving three All-Pro selections in his first four years in the league. He also led the league in rushing on two occasions during that time span.

However, towards the end of the 2018 season, Gurley’s production significantly dropped as he was struggling with a chronic knee injury. The issue continued to plague him in 2019, prompting the Rams to release him even before his four-year, $60 million contract extension kicked in.

Gurley has rushed for 6,082 yards and 67 touchdowns in his NFL career while also catching 243 passes for 2,254 yards and 12 TDs.