AFC West Rumors: Broncos, Gordon, Chiefs

Melvin Gordon is sticking in the AFC West in 2020 after defecting from the Chargers to the Broncos, and the veteran running back feels Denver’s offense is much more suited to his playing style, as he described to Ian Rapoport of

“They run a lot of inside zones, and that’s what I did a lot at Wisconsin,” Gordon said, noting that he never felt truly comfortable in Los Angeles’ offensive scheme. “It’s going to really help me get back in the feel of what I do best. I’m an inside-zone runner.”

How Gordon’s role will play out in Denver remains to be seen. Phillip Lindsay, who topped 1,000 yards rushing in each of his first two NFL seasons, remains on the Broncos’ roster, as does Royce Freeman. But Gordon, who inked a two-year, $16MM deal ($13.5MM guaranteed), figures to be Denver’s primary back.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Chiefs wideout Mecole Hardman made the Pro Bowl as a returner during his rookie campaign in 2019, but his role on special teams may be scaled back going forward. Kansas City special teams coach Dave Toub says that while he doesn’t want to lose Hardman’s return skills, the former second round pick may not handle as much ST duty as his role on the Chiefs’ offense increases (Twitter link via James Palmer of Hardman posted 26 receptions for 538 yards and six touchdowns a season ago, but those numbers could increase if he leapfrogs Sammy Watkins to become KC’s No. 2 wide receiver.
  • Free agent signee Nick Vannett is expected to replace Jeff Heuerman as a backup Broncos tight end, as Mike Klis of 9News writes. Vannett left the Steelers to sign a two-year, $5.7MM deal with Denver, while Heuerman has one year and $4MM remaining on his pact. It’s highly unlikely that Denver will choose to retain tight ends given their similar skill set, so Heureman looks like a candidate to be released.
  • Frank Clark played an integral role in bringing former Cowboys/Dolphins defensive end Taco Charlton to the Chiefs.
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