Why the Lions signing Todd Gurley wouldn’t make sense

Todd Gurley II #21 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Todd Gurley II #21 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Todd Gurley, Detroit Lions
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Todd Gurley met with the Detroit Lions last week, but signing the former rushing champion would be the wrong move.

There’s a good chance that you haven’t thought much about Todd Gurley since his game-losing touchdown against the Detroit Lions a year ago. However, Gurley was back on the Honolulu Blue radar last week when it was reported that the two-time All-Pro running back was visiting to talk about a potential deal with the Lions.

With Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson both departed from last year’s backfield, at first glance this probably seems like a game-changer for the Lions’ offense. Still just 26 years old, Gurley is only a few years removed from an incredible two-year run that saw him rack up 40 touchdowns and just under 4,000 yards from scrimmage.

Not only that, but the fellow Georgia Bulldog alum would seem like an ideal veteran fit as budding star D’Andre Swift looks to build on his impressive rookie season.

Envisioning Gurley as a Lion may be exciting for some, and understandably so. For me though, this bears way too close of a resemblance to the type of narrow-minded and short-sighted deals that marked the Bob Quinn/Matt Patricia era as an undisputed failure.

The Ram Way?

We’ve seen this before, remember? For three straight years, the offseason in Allen Park was little else than several variations on the same theme: almost exclusively, the Patriot guys signed former Patriots, nearly all of them past their prime, nearly all of them vastly overpaid, who then vastly underperformed in Detroit.

Just a few examples:

  • Trey Flowers– $90 million to average five sacks a year.
  • LeGarrette Blount– a career low 2.7 yards per carry in his single season as a Lion.
  • Danny Amendola– Taylor Decker has as many receiving touchdowns for the Lions as Amendola did. I’m not joking.
  • Jamie Collins–ejected in the first half of his very first game with Detroit.
  • Justin Coleman–couldn’t guard anyone but at least forced some turnovers in year one; couldn’t guard anyone and forced zero turnovers in year two.

I was quick to criticize the ‘Patriots Midwest’ experiment as it was happening, and nobody should have been surprised that such a narrow approach would be nearly impossible to replicate. I know that this Gurley deal hasn’t even happened yet (and might not happen), but this is getting close enough to ‘Patriot Way’ territory already to not notice.