Last Thursday, it was reported that the Detroit Lions are bringing in former Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley for a visit. After four years of dominating the league, struggles with arthritis have turned the star running back into a shell of his former self.
With the Lions steady at the running back position, why would a notable name look to join the team? Let’s look into a few reasons.
#1 – Running back to the city?
Humor me, pretend you’re a free agent running back in the NFL. Where are you looking to sign logically? Not your favorite team or the money you’ll be paid, but what are the attributes that need to be present before you sign with a team?
If you said a run-heavy offense, a great offensive line, and an opportunity to be a starter, we’d be on the same page. Smart running backs look for these types of opportunities when they hit free agency.
In Gurley’s case, the Lions figure to have a top-10 offensive line in the NFL next season. Offensive Coordinator, Anthony Lynn, has always implemented run-heavy teams in the past. The only thing that falls short of Gurley to Detroit being the perfect situation (for him) would be the playing time.
#2 – An injury away
I hate to talk about injuries before the season starts, however, running back is a position that suffers injuries quite a bit. God forbid running backs D’Andre Swift or Jamaal Williams deal with injuries, but if they do, Gurley will step into a better role.
Gurley can surely find a better situation right? Let’s see. I went through every team in the NFL and there is only one team where Gurley would be the clear starter. The Miami Dolphins. Comparing the Dolphins’ offensive line to the Lions, there is a huge gap. Also, there is another factor that pushes Gurley towards Detroit…
#3 – Jared Goff and Brad Holmes
Looking back at quarterback Jared Goff’s two-year reign of terror back in 2017, he had a prime Todd Gurley by his side. As both Goff and Gurley look to return to form, a reunion could be supported on both sides.
Bringing in Gurley for a visit doesn’t really make sense when you look where the Lions are at as a franchise. Perhaps, Goff asked general manager Brad Holmes for a favor. Bringing in an old friend for the next chapter of his career.