The Broncos have done some work revamping their running back depth chart this offseason. That means former Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon will find himself competing for carries (and, potentially, a roster spot). However, the veteran isn’t all that worried about his projected role.
“I’m very confident, man,” Gordon said (via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold). “I’m just going to go out there and just do my job and compete. Wherever the cards fall, they fall. I can’t really worry about that too much. I know that’s kind of the talk. The media is making it Javonte versus Melvin. Who’s going to start? This and that. It’s not really about that.”
Gordon is referring to rookie Javonte Williams, who the Broncos traded up to select in the second round (No. 35). The organization also brought in free agent Mike Boone, who previously played for new Broncos general manager George Paton during their time in Minnesota, and they’re still rostering former starter Royce Freeman. As a result, Gordon will have to battle for every carry once the regular season rolls around.
It’s not a surprise that the Broncos have been focused on adding depth at the position. Gordon may have led the Broncos with 986 rushing yards in 2020, but he had four lost fumbles and was forced to miss a game after getting arrested for DUI. Plus, Paton doesn’t have any attachment to the 2020 free agent signing, and Gordon didn’t do much to endear himself when he skipped OTAs.
While Gordon will likely see a reduction in carries, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be jettisoned off the roster. While the Broncos would save around $2.5MM by cutting the 28-year-old, they’d be left with $6.5MM in dead cap. Unless the organization desperately needs the cap space, it could make more sense to just keep Gordon as some high-level depth. Perhaps most importantly, it sounds like Gordon is embracing the team’s running backs corps, indicating that himself, Williams, and Boone could form a three-headed monster.
“We’re competing, but it’s early, and we still have a lot of work to do,” Gordon said. “I think both of them have really good feet and good hands. I think they’re going to be — we could all be special. We’re definitely going to come out here and compete. … You can tell Boone been in the league for a while, and you can tell that Javonte has potential. We’re going to grow as a group, and we’re looking to be the best running back group in the league.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.