Last week, the Detroit Lions coaching staff raved about free agent running back Todd Gurley so much that it seemed inevitable the team would eventually sign him. However, it appears they will now have some competition for his services. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Baltimore Ravens are hosting Gurley for a visit on Thursday.
Gurley visited the Lions two weeks ago and tweeted shortly thereafter it was his “best airport trip in a while.” Head coach Dan Campbell clearly liked what he saw, too, as he noted the team’s continuing interest in the free agent running back as recent as last week.
“Yeah, look, we have interest in Todd. We do,” Campbell said. “We’re talking with he and his agent. We do, we have interest in him.”
Assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley took his admiration a step further.
“We’re looking at anyone who can help the Lions, and Todd Gurley definitely can help the Lions,” Staley said last week. “His leadership, with Jamaal’s leadership in the room, just being able to go out there and have fun. I know the kid, the kid loves the game, he’d be a good addition.”
While the Lions added the aforementioned Jamaal Williams this offseason and still have 22-year-old D’Andre Swift leading the backfield, there does seem to be a significant drop off after those two. Seventh-round rookie Jermar Jefferson hasn’t quite distanced himself from undrafted rookie Dedrick Mills and newly-added Mike Warren has yet to move the needle since being signed late last week.
It’s unclear if this means the Lions are no longer in the market for Gurley or if the veteran running back is simply exploring all of his options before making a decision. As of now, the Lions still have an open spot on their 90-man roster.