One week after the Los Angeles Rams gave wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who is not Aaron Donald, a five-year contract extension worth $80 million, running back Todd Gurley, also known to be not Aaron Donald, is on his way to his own big payday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported a four-year deal worth up to $60 million, and with two years left on his current contract, this will take him through the end of the 2023 season. Albert Breer later tweeted that this is “up to $60 million in new money,” which seems like an important distinction to make.
Not only will Gurley be the highest-paid running back in the NFL, Schefter reports that he’s guaranteed $45 million, the most for a RB in league history.
Most Guaranteed Money to RB in Single Contract— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 24, 2018
2018 Todd Gurley LAR $45M
2011 Adrian Peterson MIN $36M
2018 Saquon Barkley NYG $31.2M
2011 Chris Johnson TEN $30M
Source: Roster Management System https://t.co/LzM7fhDbLS
Gurley rebounded from a poor 2016 season by gaining nearly 2100 yards from scrimmage last year, rushing for 1,305 yards and catching 64 passes for 788 yards. His stellar performance netted him the AP Offensive Player of the Year award, as well as runner-up in league MVP voting. This jump in pay can be considered a nice early birthday gift for the former Georgia Bulldog, who turns 24 years old a week from Friday.
Meanwhile, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who is a free agent at the end of this season, is yet to receive the massive new long-term deal that he thoroughly deserves. He held out last season before reporting on September 9th, and he’s holding out again this year. What’s the latest update on the man who’s racked up roughly 20% of his career sack total just against Russell Wilson? According to USA Today, “with two days remaining before the start of training camp, the Rams and Donald’s representatives had yet to make significant progress on a new deal.”