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Whitworth: 'Hard to see' Todd Gurley released by Rams

On the heels of agreeing to a three-year deal, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is remaining with the Rams.

His teammate for three seasons, Todd Gurley is not, however.

Gurley, one of the faces of the franchise and one of the best backs in football from 2015-2018, was released by Los Angeles on Thursday, only to agree to a one-year pact with the Falcons on Friday.

It's been an arduous course of action for Whitworth to see play out.

"I think it's tough," Whitworth told Adam Schein on the Mad Dog Sports Radio podcast. "Obviously Todd's dealt with some stuff over the last couple of years and a lot of pressure from the outside and everywhere else about his health and stuff like that. It's been tough to see him have to go through that. I have the utmost respect for him, he's one of the guys that if you list your all-time teammates, he'd have to be on that list."

Knee troubles have seemingly slowed Gurley and coupled with a lofty contract to make the Rams' leading rusher expendable and untradable.

For Whitworth, who's 38 and roughly 13 years Gurley's senior, it was difficult to see one of his favorite teammates shown the door after such huge contributions -- not the least of which was a stellar season during the Rams' Super Bowl run. However, despite the age difference, Whitworth has missed only one game over the last three seasons, while Gurley, though he's missed only four games over the last three seasons, has noticeably slowed, with his per-carry average dropping more than a yard from 4.9 in 2018 to 3.8 in 2019.

The reason behind Gurley's release didn't make it any easier, though.

"It was hard, it was hard to see," Whitworth said. "Playing in the league as long as I have, I've been with guys from all over the place and seen guys have success and seeing things like this, it's tough. One of your teammates, you lose one that means so much to you."

Along with being such a great teammate, it's Gurley's energy, particularly on game day, that Whitworth will miss -- and the Falcons can look forward to getting.

"The energy this guy brings in the locker room and really to his team and the way he likes to compete, it's infectious," Whitworth said. "He's one of those guys who makes you feel good about the fact that you're about to walk out on the field with him."

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