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
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports) /

What do I have against Todd Gurley?

I don’t have anything against Gurley, and in his day, he was probably the NFL’s best running back. It’s not 2018 anymore though.

Gurley may only be 26 years old, but after several knee injuries, he seems to have lost both the speed and lateral quickness that made him such a dual-threat a few years back. Arthritis in his left knee makes it highly unlikely that he returns anywhere close to being that type of player again.

Gurley’s production has fallen off massively in the past two seasons. He averaged under four yards a carry two years in a row, and his 678 rushing yards in 2020 was the lowest total of his career.

Age-wise, Gurley is still young enough that a strong second act is possible, but the life cycle of an NFL running back tends to be cruelly short (look no further than the brief rise and fall of Kerryon Johnson in Detroit for a recent local example).

With a young star in Swift and a steady backup already signed in Jamaal Williams, the Lions could probably still use a third running back.

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For someone like Gurley though, still in his prime earning years but probably far past his prime on the field, I would view this particular move as the first major blemish of the new crew in the Lions’ front office.