The Los Angeles Rams are potentially going to shop running back Todd Gurley this offseason. Before you ask if the San Francisco 49ers would be interested, no. They won’t be.
If he was being made available back then, that is.
After a disappointing 2019 campaign, which saw Gurley post a career-low 1,064 net yards from scrimmage, the Rams are reportedly going to try trading the No. 10 overall pick from the 2015 NFL Draft this offseason, according to a suggestion from ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. Thiry didn’t report it as news, rather speculation.
But still, Gurley wasn’t anywhere close to the kind of factor he was in Los Angeles in 2017 and 2018.
There are some who may think Gurley could resurrect his career under the tutelage of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. After all, Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay run similar offenses, and Shanahan has a long history of promoting running backs within his system to great success. Gurley is only 25 years old, too.
And it isn’t a case of an oft-said argument here: San Francisco isn’t interested in high-profile, expensive running backs. The 49ers reportedly flirted with now-New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell early in 2019.
It also isn’t necessarily a case of the Niners not needing a running back this offseason, either. Running back Matt Breida appeared to fall out of favor with Shanahan down the stretch, having just 23 carries over the team’s final seven games, including the playoffs. Fellow runner Tevin Coleman also slowed in the second half, and the 49ers could potentially release him and save $4.9 million in cap space with zero dead money, should they pursue that route.
That essentially leaves three other options for San Francisco: Raheem Mostert, who excelled in 2019, seldom-used Jeff Wilson Jr. and Jerick McKinnon, who has missed his first two seasons with the 49ers with a knee injury.
But the caveat against Gurley has little to do with the Niners’ on-roster question marks, rather Gurley’s contract.
It’s not cheap:
The next three years on Gurley’s current deal are brutal. One could make the argument the only way the Rams successfully move Gurley is if they either absorb some of the financials, which won’t be likely, or attempt to trade off valuable assets, such as NFL Draft picks, of which L.A.’s stockpile is limited, at best.
With just under $30 million in projected cap space, including 2019 rollover, the 49ers are nowhere close to absorbing the entirety of Gurley’s contract. Especially considering they have a number of their own key players, including defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and tight end George Kittle, up for contract extensions.
Plus, even though the two-time All-Pro is still young, Gurley’s considerable drop in production and recent injury history, all within a similar offensive system, suggests the 49ers would want to stay far away from any discussions with their NFC West rivals.
In fact, the combination of Gurley’s regression and lucrative contract will likely dissuade all but the most desperate of teams from even considering the thought of making a move here.
So, if you were even fathoming a possible move between the Rams and 49ers for Gurley this offseason, it’s best to put those thoughts to rest.