NOVEMBER 22: No team claimed Gordon, who has passed through to free agency, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This will be Gordon’s third time in free agency. In both other instances — 2020 and ’22 — the Broncos signed him. Gordon will be searching for a third NFL employer. Just more than $836K remained on Gordon’s Broncos contract, a one-year, $2.5MM accord.
NOVEMBER 21: In the wake of another underwhelming performance, Melvin Gordon‘s time with the Broncos is coming to an end. Denver is waiving the veteran running back, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). The team has confirmed the move.
Gordon, 29, fumbled for the fifth time this season during yesterday’s overtime loss to the Raiders. The ongoing issues with ball security is believed to be at the heart of this move, as noted by Rapoport’s colleague James Palmer (on Twitter). A fresh start for both parties is now at hand, which could prove beneficial.
The former Charger enjoyed productive campaigns during his first two seasons in Denver, eclipsing 1,100 scrimmage yards and scoring 10 total touchdowns each year. Despite the presence of 2021 second-rounder Javonte Williams, he re-signed this past offseason on a modest one-year deal. Williams’ ACL tear opened the door to Gordon once again operating as a lead back, but he received double-digit carries just twice since he went down. Gordon scored one touchdown during that stretch, never averaging more than 3.9 yards per carry in a game.
That made him a trade candidate in the build-up to the deadline at the start of the month, but no deal materialized. The only move Denver made at the position was acquiring Chase Edmonds from the Dolphins as part of the Bradley Chubb deal. That, in turn, came after the Broncos added veteran journeyman Latavius Murray from the Saints’ practice squad.
The latter has logged at least 25 snaps in each of his games with the Broncos so far, a sign that Gordon’s hold on the No. 1 role was in danger. General manager George Paton indicated otherwise in the wake of the Edmonds trade, but another fumble yesterday proved to be the final straw. The backfield pecking order could now be slightly clearer in the wake of Gordon’s departure, though Mike Boone is a candidate to be activated from IR later on in the year.
Attention will now turn to whether or not Gordon is claimed by a team looking for experienced depth for a postseason run. Denver’s plans at the position – especially in the wake of the team having a new offensive play-caller – will also be worth watching as the 3-7 outfit looks to find success on that side of the ball.