If the Buffalo Bills want to add a running back this offseason, they should explore a trade for LA Rams’ running back Todd Gurley.
The Buffalo Bills got good production from Devin Singletary as a rookie last year but if they elect to not bring Frank Gore back, then they should be in the market for another running back to pair with the young running back.
If they want to make a splash, Brandon Beane should reach out to the Rams and see what a trade for Todd Gurley may look like.
The rumor mill for Gurley was fired up last week when Ian Rapoport reported that all options were on the table for the Rams. These options included a possible trade of the three time Pro Bowler.
The resume for Todd Gurley is impressive and at only 25 years of age he has already been named to the Pro Bowl three times, a first-team All-Pro two times and led the league in rushing twice in 2017 and 2018. He also was the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.
It wasn’t a surprise based on his production that in 2018 the Rams signed Gurley to a four-year, $57.5 million contract extension. However, that season questions began to emerge about the star running back’s health. He saw his workload cut drastically during their playoff run to the Super Bowl and there was uncertainty about exactly what was wrong.
During this past offseason, it was determined to be a concern with his left knee and he reportedly was dealing with arthritis in his knee. It appeared the team took notice and was cautious with him this past year, resulting in career lows in carries (223) and rushing yards (854). However, he did have 12 touchdowns this past season.
This injury concern is likely one of the reasons why the Rams are discussing all possible options about their starting running back. If a trade becomes an option, the Buffalo Bills are in perfect position to make a move and pursue a trade.
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There certainly is some risk with a trade like this and the Buffalo Bills would have to know there is a chance that the knee injury he is dealing with will only get worse. In addition they would be acquiring a running back that still has the entire contract extension he signed back in 2018 left.
However, the Bills have plenty of cap space to acquire that salary and still upgrade other parts of this roster. In addition, if Gurley is not able to produce like he used to due to that knee the Bills could get out of his contract after the 2021 season with a dead cap hit of only $4.2 million.
If the Bills were planning on getting one of the top free agents this offseason like Melvin Gordon or Derrick Henry, trading for a back like Todd Gurley makes more sense. Either of these free agent backs are likely going to sign for a similar salary to Gurley’s current contract and when Gurley is healthy he is a Top 3 running back in this league.
The question becomes if the Bills add Gurley, how does this impact Devin Singletary? There would likely be a cap on what Singletary would get in carries and touches going forward but this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
The addition of Gurley to this offense would give the Bills two running backs who can both contribute on the ground and through the air. These two backs could play off each other and having two running backs that would command playing time should help limit their workload and keep them healthy, but also effective.
After the down year Todd Gurley had, the Buffalo Bills could be in position to get a steal for a generational talent. The Rams are not in a good position in terms of their salary cap and could be looking to shed some salary. The running back’s value is probably at an all time low even though he is only one season removed from leading the league in rushing yards.
There is no question that it would be a risk for the Buffalo Bills to pull off a trade for Todd Gurley. However, with the cap space they have, the ability to get out of his contract in two seasons with minimal dead cap space and already having at least one established running back on the roster, the positives outweigh the risk.
The Buffalo Bills have a championship caliber defense with an offense that lags behind. However, adding Todd Gurley to this team would be an aggressive move but a necessary one that could push them towards the top of the AFC.
*All contract values and salaries mentioned is courtesy of Spotrac.com