What to Expect From Todd Gurley This Season?

What to Expect From Todd Gurley This Season?
Todd Gurley II #21 during his time with the Atlanta Falcons - Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Two weeks ago, Todd Gurley tweeted that he’s about to sign to a team. We still have yet to see that happen because the jokester was just playing an April Fool’s joke on us.

Once upon a time, Todd Gurley led the league in touchdowns in both 2017 (17) and 2018 (21). However, once his arthritic knee pain increased, his production decreased.  In 2019 with the LA Rams, he produced a combined 1,000 yards along with 14 touchdowns.

LA released him that offseason and though they never revealed why it was clear, they wanted to move on from their banged-up running back. That’s when the Falcons came to the rescue and gave Gurley a home just for the season before letting him become a free agent.

What Not to Expect from Todd Gurley in 2021

As a Georgia Bulldog product, Atlanta fans loved the idea of Gurley joining the team, but COVID-19 didn’t let anyone in the stands, so the Falcons‘ “marketing project” didn’t necessarily work out in their favor.

Gurley ended up finishing the 2020 season carrying the pigskin 195 times for 678 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught 25 balls through the air for 164 yards. It’s also notable that he started the season as No. 1 in the backfield, but by the end of the season, his job was taken over. While he’s no longer in his prime, he’s not giving up just yet.

Of course, we aren’t going to see the 2017-2018 3X Pro Bowler that the league once saw. But, there is some hope for a team that does decide to pick the 26-year-old ball carrier.

A lot of teams could use a veteran in their backfield rotation, and because of Gurley’s decline, he’s extremely affordable. He likely won’t be carrying the ball over 200 yards again, but he will come in handy for short-yard plays. It’s notable to add that he did show a flash of hope in the first five games of 2020 with 79 carries for 375 yards and 5 scores. The question remains, where might Gurley’s third home be next season?

Former Atlanta Falcon Todd Gurley II #21. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

Gurley Has Thought About Playing for the 49ers

There have been no reports (yet) linking Gurley to the 49ers, but it would make sense considering they are in need of some running back depth. Raheem Mostert could use the help since Tevin Coleman found a new home with the New York Jets this offseason. During a Super Bowl week interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Gurley openly admired Kyle Shanahan.

“Kyle, he knows how to dial it up,” said Gurley. “He knows how to dial it up, for sure. Even dealing with all the injuries this year with the 49ers, he was still able to put points up with the backup quarterbacks and whoever was in there at receiver or running back.”

“I’ve definitely thought about that (playing for the 49ers). Shanahan’s a great coach.”

The Niners most recently lost out on signing 29-year-old running back Giovani Bernard, who chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week instead. So, maybe it’s time the 49ers turn their attention to Todd Gurley next? After all, there’s nothing better than having an old foe join the squad. 

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