Latest On Broncos’ Melvin Gordon Signing

Having seen Phillip Lindsay become the first undrafted player in NFL history to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, the Broncos have created interesting optics by signing Melvin Gordon. In an offseason that began with rumors of a possible Lindsay extension, the Broncos gave Gordon an $8MM-per-year deal that ranks sixth among running backs.

I know there’s people going, ‘Why do you need another horse?’ Well, when you have an opportunity for Melvin Gordon to come in here, we felt like it was an addition to the team,” Broncos GM John Elway said. “He’s a guy that obviously has had a lot of success in this league. He’s scored a lot of touchdowns and has caught the football a ton. So we feel like with him — with Melvin, as well as Phillip — that we’ve got a great one-two punch, and we’ll only get better in the backfield.

Ultimately, we have to score more points this year. We’ve struggled on the offensive side the last two, three years, and so we’ve got to get better on that side. I think Melvin will be one of those key pieces to help us get better.”

Lindsay, whose two 1,000-yard seasons are more than Gordon’s one, reached out to his new teammate but may now have an uncertain future in Denver. No team currently has multiple backs earning more than $3.5MM AAV. Lindsay is set to make just $750K in 2020 — less than Royce Freeman, whom Gordon is essentially replacing in Denver.

This arrangement would seemingly be untenable for Lindsay, but the Broncos are not prioritizing a re-up for their hometown success story at this time. Lindsay, 25, is set for restricted free agency in 2021.

Gordon’s abilities as a receiver helped influence the Broncos’ decision, with Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic noting that new OC Pat Shurmur sought a more complete back (subscription required). Lindsay caught 53 passes as a junior at Colorado but has yet to top 35 catches or 250 receiving yards as a pro. Gordon peaked at 19 grabs in a season at run-heavy Wisconsin but has caught more than 40 passes in each of his past four seasons. Gordon surpassed 400 receiving yards each season from 2016-18.

Last year, Gordon turned down a Chargers extension worth around $10MM per year. He held out into late September before reporting, and Austin Ekeler ended up outplaying him and landing a Bolts extension. Gordon said if given the choice again he would not hold out.

I probably would come back just because — more so because of my legacy and what I’m trying to do as a player, my mark that I’m trying to leave,” the former first-round pick said, via Jhabvala. “Obviously, those are games that I can’t get back. Starting out slow and being able to catch stride towards the end of the season, but then it’s too late.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 comments on “Latest On Broncos’ Melvin Gordon Signing

  1. Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

    Someone please explain how Melvin Gordon doesn’t get to “reset the RB market” but Dak Prescott does? Both are FA (technically) and both are close to equals when compared to others at their respective positions…. makes no sense to me.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Look at the running back market…
      Gurley and Freeman both just got cut.
      Gordon got offered 10 mil which would’ve put him 5th highest paid and he played poorly and got paid 8mil the 6th highest by a RB.
      That kinda seems fair given what how he has played recently …

      But the QB market is completely different.
      Tannehill got traded to the titans mid season and helped win them a few games but Derrick Henry did most the work and he just signed a 4 year 118mil deal.
      Cousins and Goff both got 33mil a year, Dak although he doesn’t deserve a truck load of money. He has been a starter for the team for 4 years, gone to the playoffs two seasons and has a playoff win. He has two pro bowl years out of 4.
      Just by comparing him to Tannehill, Cousins and Goff he’s going to want 33mil bottom dollar…

      Now because Jerry Jones has mucked him around and taken so long and still hasnt gotten him a good deal he’s playing the market. Pressure is on Jerry to resign him

    • king beas

      You can find a running back off the streets but you can’t find franchise qbs

      • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

        Tell that to Detroit, they haven’t had a decent RB since Barry Sanders. Teams whiff on RB’s all the time, the whole “you can get a RB anytime/anywhere” rhetoric is BS.

        • No it’s not. Detroit could have signed Melvin Gordon and had a solid back. Same w Le’Veon Bell or Kareem Hunt in 2019. Detroit May have not drafted RBs well, but they’ve had multiple opportunities to figure it out the last couple years… The Shanahan’s can take a special teams player and turn them into a 1,000 yard back. Josh McDaniels used Aaron Hernandez as a RB at times and he looked competent running the ball.

          • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

            Aaron Hernandez had 9 carries in 3 seasons, what the hell does that have to do with NFL RB’s? How many different guys have lead the Lions since Barry Sanders retired? 12 different RB’s have lead Detroit in rushing in the last 20? years. 3 guys have gone for 1000+ since Sanders retired. Yeah great RB’s are everywhere.

    • braveshomer

      cuz he won a superbowl…buys you plenty of years and honestly rightfully so…

      • Boston2AZ

        The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” business. Winning a Super Bowl doesn’t buy you “plenty of years”. Elway is an average to below average GM and being John Elway won’t be enough for much longer, even in Denver.

    • crosseyedlemon

      And if the NFL expands to a 17 or 18 game schedule having quality depth at the position is going to be rather important.

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