Rams release former OPOY, standout Todd Gurley

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The Los Angeles Rams decided to move on from Todd Gurley.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Rams are releasing the running back, per a source informed of the decision.

The team later announced the move.

The Rams needed to decide before an additional $10.5 million of his contract became fully guaranteed at 4 p.m. ET Thursday. After shopping him around the league, no trade materialized, leading to the release.

"I would like to thank Todd for his many contributions to the Rams, on and off the field, since I have been here," Rams coach Sean McVay said in a statement. "He has meant a lot to my growth as a coach and leader and he will always be remembered as one of the all-time great Rams. I wish him nothing but the best."

The Rams signed Gurley to a four-year, $57.5 million extension in 2018, two years before his previous deal was set to expire. L.A. still owes Gurley a $7.55 million roster bonus for this season and leaves a dead-money hit of $20.15 million on the salary cap. A portion of the roster bonus ($2.5 million) is subject to offsets if Gurley signs elsewhere, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

After signing the extension coming off winning Offensive Player of the Year, Gurley rushed for 1,251 yards with 17 TDs in 2018, but knee troubles were already beginning. The running back missed the final two games of that season and saw his play heavily curtailed as the Rams ran to the Super Bowl.

Questions swirled regarding Gurley's knee issue last offseason and were not quieted during the 2019 campaign. Despite insistence by coach Sean McVay that the Rams weren't concerned about the knee issue, the running back's snaps were slashed for stretches and he was much less effective.

Two years after the big deal that the Rams clearly regret at this point, having paid $34.5 million for two seasons, L.A. will move into a shiny new stadium without a player who was the face of the franchise.

"When we drafted Todd in 2015, we knew he was going to be a one-of-a-kind talent that would create special moments on the football field for us," general manager Les Snead said in a statement. "Todd did this by becoming one of the greatest competitors in this league, but more than that, he served as a great teammate to his fellow players and ambassador for our organization, and those traits speak volumes to who he is as a human being."

The Rams will currently ride forward with 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson and veteran Malcolm Brown atop their RB chart. L.A. could look to the draft to add a cheaper depth option.

Gurley, who is now the No. 64 free agent on the NFL.com 101, hits a running back market flush with talent, but can't find teams willing to pay top dollar.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo previously reported that Melvin Gordon wasn't generating big long-term offers. With Gurley now a free agent, the market is oversaturated.

The current restrictions on medical checks was likely one reason the Rams couldn't trade Gurley. With questions about his knee unanswered, it will be interesting to see what type of market materializes for the former Pro Bowl running back.

Gurley wasn't the Rams' only cap casualty. The team released veteran linebacker Clay Matthews. The move saves L.A. $3.75 million in salary-cap space, with a dead-money hit of $2 million.

Matthews spent one season with the Rams, compiling eight sacks in 13 games.

With a top-heavy roster and little cap space, L.A. has had to make some tough decisions with several of their big-name players. Ultimately, they chose to move on and take the lumps.

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