Agent’s Take: Todd Gurley, J.J. Watt and eight other players at a crossroads

Every season, a different set of players face a crossroads or have something to prove for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are related to age, contract or salary cap concerns, injury, poor performance or off-field issues.

Ten players to keep an eye on during the 2020 season who fit into one of those categories are below. Quarterback Cam Newton, who the Panthers released in late March, was omitted since he remains unsigned, although he has plenty to prove after missing most of the last season and a half with shoulder and foot injuries.

Texans DE J.J. Watt

Watt was considered the closest thing to a modern day Reggie White, who is arguably the greatest defensive football player of all-time, before being bitten by the injury bug. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has missed 32 of the last 64 regular season games because of a variety of injuries. 

Watt, who has two years remaining on his contract for $33 million, recognizes he isn’t in a position to ask for a new deal. He was still an impact player the last time he was healthy in 2018; Watt led the AFC with 16 sacks while being named first-team All-Pro for the first time since 2015.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky

The Bears acquired Nick Foles from the Jaguars in a trade because the team hasn’t been satisfied with Trubisky, 2017’s second overall pick. It will be an open competition between Foles and Trubisky for Chicago’s starting quarterback job.

The Bears declined to pick up their fifth-year option with Trubisky for $24.837 million in 2021. If Trubisky beats out Foles, he’ll have a much shorter lease than in his previous three seasons. As 2015’s top two picks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota discovered, it will be difficult for Trubisky to find a job as a starter in 2021 free agency if he doesn’t perform well this season or if he loses the quarterback competition.

Falcons RB Todd Gurley

Gurley was arguably the NFL’s best running back before being slowed by left knee problems late in the 2018 season. The Rams released Gurley in March following a lackluster 2019 campaign in which he rushed for a career low 857 yards despite the Rams signing him to a four-year, $57.5 million contract extension in 2018 with two years remaining on his rookie contract.

Gurley didn’t play any of his new contract years, since his four-year extension ran from 2020 through 2023. He made out like a bandit from the deal. Gurley is $20 million better off from the extension than playing out his rookie contract.

He quickly signed a one-year deal for $5.5 million with the Falcons. Gurley will be a steal if he can regain the form that made him 2017’s NFL Offensive Player of the Year when he led the league with 2,093 yards from scrimmage (combined rushing and receiving yards) and 19 touchdowns, Doing so could led to another big payday for the 25-year-old.

Texans RB David Johnson

Johnson is getting a new lease on his NFL life…

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Read More: Agent’s Take: Todd Gurley, J.J. Watt and eight other players at a crossroads 2020-06-10 22:09:01

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