Was the writing on the wall?
Upon hearing the news that the St. Louis Rams took running back Todd Gurley at the number 10 spot, Zac Stacy took to Twitter with one simple word and said a mouthful. “YIKES”
The pick appeared to be an obvious surprise to the 2013 fifth rounder as it was to quite a bit of the fans. Most were expecting the Rams to target help on offense, but not many were expecting them to pick a running back and especially not one in the top 10.
Stacy who was the work horse after being drafted 2 years ago found his role substantially diminished last year with the emergence of Trey Mason who was the 2014 third rounder (#75 overall) . Mason was widely considered at the time to be a complimentary piece with Stacy being the ground and pound back, but had firmly stepped up to be the featured back by the end of last season.
The picture comes more into focus
Then the Rams picked Todd Gurley. Gurley, who’s been hailed as this year’s version of the next Adrian Peterson was also heralded by Head Coach Jeff Fisher as being his next version of Eddie George. It was also let known that Gurley was at the very top of their big board going into this year’s Draft.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2015
It appears that Zac knew his time in St. Louis was coming to an end and wanted to ensure he’d be with a club where he could not only make the team, but actually get on the field. He didn’t take long to make his decision either. Prior to the Day 1 Draft even getting a chance to finish, this tweet by Adam Caplan surfaced.
#Rams RB Zac Stacy, after the selection of RB Todd Gurley, plans to ask the team for his release or to be traded, per league source.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) May 1, 2015
Then barely after the day 1 of the Draft had a chance to wrap up Adam Schefter posted this tweet.
Rams RB Zak Stacy, who tweeted “Yikes” after STL drafted Todd Gurley, has requested a trade and team is open to moving him, per NFL source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 1, 2015
Will Stacy be the only one looking for a job?
Head Coach Jeff Fisher has repeatedly claimed that his vision going forward was to mold a team that was tough on defense and able to have a power run offense. He’s stayed true to that vision by putting together one of the toughest and physical defenses in the NFL and by drafting 5 different running backs and picking up some UDFAs in his 4 years at the helm.
Some have already moved on, but it does make one wonder what may be in store for the others still in the stable. Most expect Trey Mason to retain his spot, but Isaiah Pead to not be brought back. It gets less clear when you get to Benny Cunningham, Tre Watts, and Chase Reynolds.
Cunningham secured a role as a return man last year so he could possibly retain that role, but it isn’t guaranteed. Chase Reynolds, also listed as a running back, is a Special Teams Ace, but there again, Special Teams is one of those areas where some teams fit in a future guy who has value elsewhere, but not ready for that position. He too could be vulnerable. Lastly, Tre Watts is probably the one sweating the most right about now. He showed flashes when given the chance in pre-season last year, but was soon forgotten by most once Trey Mason started hitting his stride.
There’s lots of this year’s Draft left and plenty of off-season to go before the picture comes completely into focus, so I guess we’ll just have to sit back and watch everything play out.