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Todd Gurley, Rams agree to 4-year, $60M extension

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't want to reset the running back market for Le'Veon Bell. The Los Angeles Rams were happy to do so for Todd Gurley.

The Rams and the running back agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension worth up to $60 million, with $45 million in guarantees, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The deal locks Gurley in L.A. for the next six seasons, through 2023.

Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead later confirmed the extension during a news conference Tuesday. ESPN first reported the agreement.

"Feel fortunate to be able to work with players like Todd," McVay said, via Myles Simmons of the team's official website.

The $45 million in guarantees is the largest ever for a running back. It blows out of the water the current going rate for veterans. Among veterans on multi-year contracts, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy garnered just north of $18 million guaranteed on their most recent deals.

Turning 24 next month, Gurley is the defending Offensive Player of the Year award and he finished second in MVP voting behind Tom Brady. The fourth-year back earned a league-best 2,093 scrimmage yards (35 percent of the Rams' total offensive output) and finished second in league rushing with 1,305 yards in 2017. Gurley became only the third player in NFL history to tally 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing TDs and six receiving TDs. Since entering the league in 2015, Gurley ranks tied for first in rushing TDs (29) and scrimmage TDs (35), second in rushing yards (3,296) and third in scrimmage yards (4,599), per NFL Research.

The Rams haven't been shy about shelling out cash this offseason -- Aaron Donald must be somewhere scratching his head wondering when his payday will come. Gurley joins Ndamukong Suh and Brandin Cooks under big-money deals in L.A.

While many teams might balk at paying a running back $15 million per year on a four-year extension, the Rams clearly view their dual-threat workhorse worthy of resetting the RB market. Gurley's deal should be met by shouts of joy to other young backs set to hit the open market in coming seasons, including David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and others.

In a league where multidimensional players like Gurley play an increasingly vital role on offenses, perhaps Tuesday's news will help running backs shed the positional stigma and reap the rewards like other weapons have in recent seasons.

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