Meet the new $60 million dollar man.
Fresh off his historic contract extension, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley addressed the media on Wednesday, after arriving at the team's training camp in Irvine, CA.
Needless to say, Gurley was the center of attention on the campus of the University of California Irvine, after the team announced they had signed Gurley to a four-year extension worth $60 million (with $45 million in guaranteed money) on Tuesday.
"I feel good," said a grinning Gurley on Wednesday. "I just want to thank the Rams, Mr. Kroenke, Les [Snead], Kevin [Demoff], Coach [Sean McVay], everybody that helped me get to this point. I'm just super excited to be with the Rams for the next six years. I really haven't soaked it in yet."
Gurley's contract was the largest for a running back in NFL history, both in terms of guaranteed money ($45 million) and annual average ($15 million per season).
The Rams were smart to lock the 23-year-old Baltimore native to a long-term deal after Gurley was named the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,093), and total touchdowns (19).
Gurley's deal eclipsed Devonta Freeman's five-year, $41.25 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons last year, and will now be seen as a benchmark for other high caliber running backs like Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliot and Jordan Howard.
Freeman, a friend of Gurley, was just one of many NFL players who texted the Rams star after the deal was announced.
"A lot of guys texted me," said Gurley. "Guys from Devonta Freeman to 'AB' [Antonio Brown], Odell [Beckham Jr.]. Everybody is showing their support and it definitely means a lot to get a lot of love and support from your peers around the league."
Gurley said he knows he might be a marked man now on the field as opposing defensive players will look to take down the newest highest paid running back in the league.
The other elephant in the room was the absence of Aaron Donald on day one of training camp, as the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is expected to hold out for the second straight year over a contract extension.
Reportedly, the Rams are prepared to make Donald the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, but Donald is seeking an annual salary of at least $25 million a year, money that is usually allocated for quarterbacks.
"We're simultaneously working to make Aaron a Ram for a long time – that's the goal," Rams general manager Les Snead told reporters. "I know we'll get questions about him, but Aaron's a big part of who we are, where we want to go. We're going to continue working to get something done with Aaron."
Hopefully Gurley's extension can now pave the way for a new deal for Donald, and the running back himself can't wait to see his teammate once he returns to the team.
"I can't really speak on that," said Gurley of Donald's current situation. "I don't really know the whole situation with that, but obviously we miss the guy. We miss him being here and hope to have him back soon ad hopefully stuff gets situated."
As for what Gurley is going to spend his new-found wealth on, the admitted sneaker head said he plans to buy a lot of shoes.
"Haven't done the math, but I'm pretty sure I can buy a whole lot of shoes now."