Brady, Gurley: From 2019 Super Bowl foes to same division

Todd Gurley

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley runs a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Los Angeles. The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley, one day after he was cut by the Los Angeles Rams. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press about the agreement on Friday, March 20, 2020, on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be official until Gurley passes a physical. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

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For now, there are four Super Bowl quarterbacks in the NFC South, including a newcomer.

Some guy named Brady.

Tom Brady’s monumental move from New England, where he won six NFL titles, to Tampa Bay has him joining New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, and Carolina’s Cam Newton — who is on the way out. Teddy Bridgewater will be the man with the Panthers, who have told Newton he can look for a job elsewhere.

At this time, no other division has that kind of Super Bowl resume, though.

And the NFC South added another major star in Todd Gurley. One day after the Rams cut their high-priced running back, he landed in Atlanta.

Brady, of course, is the headliner wherever he is. On Friday he made it official that the Buccaneers are his team.

“Excited, humble and hungry … If there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that,” Brady wrote on social media.

“I look forward to meeting all my new teammates and coaches and proving to them that they can believe and trust in me,” the four-time Super Bowl MVP added. “I have always believed that well done is better than well said, so I’m … not gonna say much more. I’m just gonna get to work!”

He could have his work cut out for him: The Bucs haven’t made the playoffs in 12 straight seasons.

Gurley might be in a slightly better situation with the Falcons, who lost to Brady in the 2017 Super Bowl. Or maybe not considering how Atlanta has faltered the past two years.

He got a $6 million one-year deal, which might pale in comparison to Brady’s guaranteed $50 million for two seasons. But after being summarily dumped by the Rams, clearly there was a market for Gurley.

“WE GOT HIM,” the Falcons exclaimed on their Twitter account.

The two-time All-Pro running back was released minutes before $10.5 million in his contract with the Rams became fully guaranteed. Gurley was the 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

Atlanta needed to replace Devonta Freeman, who was released.

Also Friday:

—Denver agreed to a two-year deal with former Chargers running back Melvin Gordon that is worth $16 million with all but $2.5 million guaranteed. Although his new deal is less than the $10 million annually Gordon turned down from the Chargers during an unsuccessful holdout last season, it allows him to face his old team twice a year and to hit free agency again in 2022 at age 28. His $8 million annual salary also ranks fourth in the NFL among running backs.

—Saints left guard Andrus Peat agreed to a five-year contract keeping him in New Orleans and virtually ensuring the entire 2019 starting offensive line will return. The deal is worth a total of $57.5 million.

“There was some interest from other teams,” Peat said on a conference call. “Ever since I was drafted here, I wanted to play my whole career with the Saints. So, I’m just really excited to be able to continue my career here with the Saints.”

—The Steelers added tight end Eric Ebron on a two-year deal, as well as guard Stefen Wisniewski, who won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs. And Pittsburgh made a rare in-division trade, acquiring backup defensive tackle Chris Wormley and a seventh-round pick from Baltimore for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Ebron, 27, is one season removed from a breakout 2018 in which he caught 13 touchdown passes to make the Pro Bowl for the first time in the process. He struggled last year while dealing with a lingering ankle injury that ended his season in late November.

—Longtime Vikings standout defensive lineman Everson Griffen, 32, is leaving Minnesota.

Griffen’s agent, Brian Murphy, announced Friday they ended talks with the Vikings “because they have to spend their money elsewhere and we decided to now focus our attention on free agency.” The longest-tenured player on the team, Griffen had 74 1/2 sacks in 10 seasons.

—Carolina signed free agent wide receiver Pharoh Cooper to a one-year contract and safety Juston Burris to a two-year deal.

Cooper was an All-Pro kick returner for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and had a career-high 25 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown in 12 games with Arizona last season. Burris has played in 52 career games with 11 starts, totaling 58 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one sack in four NFL seasons with the Jets and Browns.

—The Browns added another veteran safety, agreeing to terms with Andrew Sendejo on a one-year, $2.25 million contract. The 32-year-old Sendejo played for Minnesota and Philadelphia last season. On Wednesday, the team worked out a deal with former Raiders safety Karl Joseph.

Sendejo started with Dallas in 2010 before playing nine seasons with Minnesota. New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was with the Vikings that entire time.


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