AFC West Notes: Gordon, Broncos, Thornhill

In examining the contract impasse between the Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon, both Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com emphasize one factor that has been largely overlooked in other reports and opinions concerning Gordon’s threat to sit out the entire season: if Gordon makes good on his threat, his contract would toll and he would still be under club control in 2020 at the same salary he would earn in 2019. So Gordon really doesn’t have a ton of leverage here, which is why Fitzgerald believes the 2015 first-round pick will ultimately be on the field come Week 1 regardless of whether he has a new deal in place.

Now for more from the AFC West, starting with additional thoughts on Gordon:

  • Fitzgerald notes that Gordon does not fit neatly into either the top tier of the league’s running backs, who have contracts paying at least $13MM per season, or into the second tier, which tops out at an AAV of $8.25MM. Fitzgerald believes that, if the Chargers want to keep Gordon for the long haul — which is still up in the air at this point — the two sides will come together on a pact that pays Gordon around $10MM per season.
  • It’s roster projection season, and Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post takes a look at the Broncos‘ WR situation. Emmanuel Sanders‘ inability to participate in the Broncos’ offseason program allowed the club to thoroughly its evaluate young pass catchers, who impressed the coaching staff with their intelligence and instincts. O’Halloran notes that Sanders could open training camp on the PUP list, and his health may force Denver to carry six receivers, good news for rookie sixth-rounder Juwann Winfree and UDFA Trinity Benson. O’Halloran believes both players will make the team.
  • In a separate piece, O’Halloran explores UDFA Ahmad Gooden‘s chances of making the Broncos. O’Halloran says Gooden drew interest from multiple teams after the draft but saw Denver as the best fit given its newfound openings at OLB. Gooden was a stand-up DE in college, but he was asked to drop into both man and zone coverage, which is a skill that’s expected of the Broncos’ outside ‘backers. If he can flash some pass rush ability, he will have a good shot.
  • Mike Klis of 9News.com examines the Broncos‘ revamped secondary, which should be a strength for the team this season. However, he notes that safety Su’a Cravens may be a long shot to make the 53-man roster. While Denver’s previous regime saw Cravens as a dime linebacker, new HC Vic Fangio says Cravens will need to make the club as a pure safety, which seems like a dubious proposition given Cravens’ struggles in coverage in 2018, his first season with the Broncos.
  • Brook Pryor of the Kansas City Star takes a shot at projecting the Chiefs‘ 53-man roster. After an impressive spring, Pryor believes UDFA Cody Thompson will fill the club’s last WR spot at least until Tyreek Hill returns from his likely suspension, and she tabs Juan Thornhill as a key piece to the Kansas City secondary. The second-round rookie from UVA looked good in spring practices before injuring his hamstring, and assuming he is ready for training camp and continues to play well, he will be the Chiefs’ starting free safety and Tyrann Mathieu will be able to play closer to the line, which is his preference.
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11 comments on “AFC West Notes: Gordon, Broncos, Thornhill

  1. JJB0811

    I’d let Gordon sit and send him bills for missed camps and everything else he can be fined for.

    • OCTraveler

      The Chargers should leak rumors in the press that there’re negotiating a deal with some cold weather team in the NFL that has no chance for a title like Buffalo and the Mr. Gordon might reconsider his demand to leave a team the plays in LA and is a contender.

  2. king beas

    I’d try to trade Gordon for a 2nd and then snag a new rb. Smart teams don’t keep rbs around much longer than their rookie deal

    • Ironman_4life

      Your right. And a running back can go from 10 touchdowns and 1200 yards one season to out of the league the next.

  3. crosseyedlemon

    “Smart teams don’t keep rbs around much longer than their rookie deal”

    A comment that moronic doesn’t really deserve a response but I think the majority of football fans are glad teams were stupid enough to keep Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith etc. etc around for more than 5 years.

    • Mack83

      You’re also talking about how many years ago? These are different times.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Every decade has had quality RBs that deserved more than a 5 year career and guys like Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore are still getting the job done.

    • Ironman_4life

      Just because someone makes a comment that isnt to your liking, doesn’t make it a moronic comment.

  4. Threecubed

    The bargaining strategy sure doesn’t impress , a declining market and poor leverage might require a defter touch than that of Bilbo .

  5. hoosierhysteria

    Yo Melvin: idle threats don’t work. Play 16 and stop fumbling if you want top tier pay. Chargers should control him for next 2 years and let someone else pay him.

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