Risky business with big money free agent RB’s Dan Leberfeld

It’s a position that takes a tremendous physical toll on the human body.

So giving running backs lucrative second-contracts in the NFL can be risky business.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who was hobbled late in the season with knee issues, actually has arthritis in his left knee, the same knee that required surgery in 2014 at Georgia. The team is considering stem-cell treatment.

On July 24, 2018, Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension with the Rams with $45 million guaranteed.

Less the one-year into the deal, he has a medical red flag.

Running backs take an awful beating. There is no way around that fact. And when you look at all the carries Gurley had in high school, college and four years in the NFL, that’s a lot of mileage on his odometer.

This is a cautionary tale to teams like the Jets who might be interested in signing 27-year-old free agent Le’Veon Bell to a big-money deal.

The man’s had a ton of carries from Groveport High School to Michigan State to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s taken a lot of hits and has already blown out a knee in his career.

While he’s a heck of player, may the buy beware.

Giving running backs huge second contracts (following their rookie deals) in free agency can be risky business.

On March 14, 2018, former Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. He never played a game last year, blowing out an ACL in practice on September 1.

Teams looking to give Bell a monster deal should probably proceed with caution.


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