FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2019, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game in Denver. A person with knowledge of the move tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos are waiving Joe Flacco with a failed physical designation, putting another veteran NFL quarterback on the open market. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce the decision. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Rams release star RB Todd Gurley as NFL moves continue

March 19, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Todd Gurley has gone from the NFL's top running back to looking for a job.

In a move designed to save the Los Angeles Rams about $10 million that would have become guaranteed Thursday, they said goodbye to Gurley. Perhaps the game's best rusher in 2017 and '18 but plagued by knee problems lately, Gurley has been sent on a route diametrically opposite to such big names as Tom Brady, headed to Tampa, and Philip Rivers, now with Indianapolis.

Los Angeles still will get a $20.15 million hit on its salary cap space. Gurley, a 2015 first-round pick, signed a four-year, $60 million contract with $45 million guaranteed in June 2018.

But after helping the Rams to the NFC title that season, he injured his left knee and it slowed him considerably — first in the postseason run to the Super Bowl, then all of last season. He rushed for a career-low 857 yards last year while playing sparingly.

His release can't be comforting to other running backs around the NFL. If Gurley is expendable — yes, the contract and injury played a key role — then can any RB feel secure?

Earlier Thursday, the Lions agreed to trade their best cornerback, Darius Slay, to Philadelphia. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the trade and that Slay has agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension with the Eagles.

Slay wanted a new contract before last season and did not attend Detroit's mandatory minicamp. He ended up reporting to training camp and played well enough to earn a third Pro Bowl nod.

The Eagles need help in the secondary. Cornerback Ronald Darby is not expected to return, and the team is not bringing back safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Denver waived 2013 Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. He had lost his job to rookie Drew Lock and also has neck issues that could affect him if he continues playing.

The Ravens confirmed their trade for veteran defensive end Calais Campbell.

Also Thursday, the NFL changed course and will be allowing teams to announce signings they have reached with free agents, as well as trades, when all paperwork is filed.

Though the league's business year began Wednesday the NFL instructed teams to hold back direct confirmations of those transactions because they are not official until contracts are signed and players have taken physicals. The agreements and trades leaked out anyway.

On Thursday the NFL sent a memo to the 32 teams telling them it has clarified its policy.

Once teams make official any signings that are listed on the daily transactions that the league provides, there is no prohibition on announcing those moves. Those contracts must be agreed upon and submitted to all parties, including the player and agent. Similarly, trades can be announced once the paperwork has been submitted.

The league has barred travel by players to team facilities and also halted club personnel traveling to meet with free agents as a safeguard against the new coronavirus.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


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