Melvin Gordon

DUI Hearing Delayed For Broncos’ Melvin Gordon

Broncos running back Melvin Gordon was originally set to have his disposition hearing today. Now, the hearing has been pushed back to March 10, as Mike Klis of 9News writes.

According to the October police report, Gordon was speeding 25-39 mph over the limit and found to be intoxicated when he was pulled over. He chose to take a field sobriety test over a breathalyzer test — cops say that didn’t go to well.

Some new information has come up that is the subject of discussion between the parties,” Gordon’s lawyer Robert Malen said in a virtual hearing.

The final outcome of the matter could impact Gordon’s early-season availability and his future with the Broncos. A guilty verdict or plea would likely trigger a three-game ban from the league office. It would also nix his $4.5MM guarantee for 2021. That means that the Broncos could easily shed Gordon’s contract, if that’s what they want to do.

Gordon, presently set to enter his second year with the Broncos, ran for 966 yards, good for tenth in the league. He also inched back towards his ~2018 efficiency and scoring rate, averaging 4.6 yard per tote and notching nine touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Watt, Green, Chiefs, Gordon, Pats

Vocal about his frustration with the Texans‘ situation, J.J. Watt is on track to play in 16 games for just second time in the past five seasons. Although a midseason report tabbed the future Hall of Fame defensive lineman as a “virtual lock” to be traded in the offseason, Watt has one season remaining on his Texans deal. He acknowledged his contract — a six-year, $100MM 2014 pact that has since been lapped by a few younger D-linemen — will need to be addressed in 2021.

There’s a whole lot of unknowns in that situation. We’ll see what happens,” Watt said, via Fox 26’s Mark Berman (video link). “I don’t have any guarantees left in my contact, so something’s got to happen one way or another. I’m not sure. There’s too many unknowns.”

Thanks to the Laremy Tunsil deal, the Texans do not have first- or second-round picks in next year’s draft. Despite Watt’s contributions, Houston’s defense ranks near the bottom of the NFL. And the team does not have many long-term cornerstones on offense beyond Tunsil or Deshaun Watson. Watt, 31, would be an interesting 2021 trade chip — should the Texans attempt to collect assets for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year — but the prospect of a new Watt contract in a year when the cap is set to decline would seemingly affect his market.

Here is the latest from the AFC heading into Week 17:

  • Another superstar from the 2011 draft class, A.J. Green may be set for his final Bengals game Sunday. The former perennial Pro Bowler has seen his role in Cincinnati’s offense reduced, despite playing on the franchise tag, and acknowledged Sunday might be it for him in western Ohio. “If this is my last game, I had an unbelievable 10 years here,” Green said (via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby, on Twitter) Thursday. The Bengals did not let Green test free agency this year, which understandably led to frustration from the veteran, and 2021 figures to be a crowded marketplace for wideouts. Green, 32, stayed healthy this year but has just 47 receptions for 523 yards — a distant third among Bengals.
  • The Broncos will have a decision to make at running back soon. They have Phillip Lindsay looming as an RFA, and Melvin Gordon‘s DUI arrest has him facing a three-game suspension — one that would stand to void the remaining guarantees on his two-year, $16MM deal. “Hopefully I did enough for them to want to keep me here,” Gordon said, via 9News’ Mike Klis. Gordon has rushed for 893 yards in 14 games but has a career-low 141 receiving yards.
  • A back injury ended Mitchell Schwartz‘s iron-man streak at 134 games; the Chiefs‘ All-Pro right tackle has been out since Week 6. Andy Reid said the veteran right tackle is making progress but was vague on a return timeline, per the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope (on Twitter). Another report, via the Star’s Sam Mellinger (on Twitter), indicated Schwartz is not expected to return this season. Schwartz, 31, has long been one of the NFL’s top right tackles. His absence would obviously make a Chiefs repeat championship more difficult.
  • Brandon Bolden was one of the eight Patriots to opt out because of COVID-19 concerns, but the longtime backup running back/special-teamer plans to play in 2021. The 30-year-old back tweeted he wants to return next season, though it is not certain if the Patriots will bring him back. Thanks to Bolden’s 2020 money tolling, he is under contract next year on a $1.3MM base salary.

Broncos RB Melvin Gordon Out Sunday

Melvin Gordon won’t be on the field when the Broncos take on the Patriots tomorrow. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the running back did not travel to New England due to an illness.

[RELATED: Broncos/Patriots still on track for Sunday]

The reporter later clarified that Gordon had been diagnosed with strep throat. Considering the bacterial infection can be contagious, the Broncos decided to be cautious and leave Gordon in Denver. Earlier this morning, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reported (via Twitter) that the running back had come down with a non-COVID-19 illness, noting that the training staff had taken extra precautions to guarantee he wasn’t dealing with COVID-19.

It hasn’t been the best week for Gordon. On Tuesday night, the 27-year-old was cited for driving under the influence. The police report stated that Gordon was found to be intoxicated after he was pulled over for speeding. The DUI citation could subject him to league discipline, including a possible suspension.

After three relatively underwhelming performances to begin his Broncos tenure, Gordon had a big game earlier this month against the Jets, rushing for 107 yards and two scores on 23 carries. Following a five-year stint with the Chargers that saw him earn a pair of Pro Bowl nods, Gordon inked a two-year, $16MM deal with Denver this past offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos’ Melvin Gordon Charged With DUI

Broncos running back Melvin Gordon was cited for driving under the influence on Tuesday night, as Mike Klis of 9News reports. According to police, Gordon was speeding between 25 mph and 39 mph over the limit and found to be intoxicated when he was pulled over.

We are aware of the situation involving Melvin Gordon,” the Broncos said in a statement. “Our organization has been in communication with him and is in the process of gathering more details.”

Gordon joined the Broncos in March on a two-year, $16MM deal. With the Chargers, he totaled at least 1,375 yards from scrimmage from 2016-18 and 47 touchdowns over the past four years. While he has missed time due to minor injuries throughout his career, Gordon was healthy throughout 2019. Of course, he still missed games, due to his holdout that stretched into October of last year.

In 12 games, Gordon averaged 3.8 yards per carry, a far cry from the 5.1 yards per tote that gave him so much leverage in 2018. This past week, the Broncos got a glimpse of Gordon’s full potential as he ran for 107 yards against the Jets, including a 43-yard TD to clinch the win.

Gordon’s DUI citation could subject him to league discipline, including a possible suspension.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Raiders, Henderson, Broncos

Tyrell Williams dealt with injuries to both of his feet last season, missing time because of it. The maladies took a while to recover from this offseason, but the veteran Raiders wideout believes he has nearly surmounted the nagging problems.

Shoot, it’s been a long offseason with my feet,” Williams said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). “I did two months after the season of just rehab and resting them. It was still taking a long time and I started getting pretty discouraged, but … um, about two months ago, I finally got over the hump and my feet have been feeling good. I still feel it a little bit, but compared to what I had … it’s nothing compared to what I was going through during the season.”

Williams missed two games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but said his left foot became a discomfort source after he returned. The second-year Raider then dealt with pain in both feet the rest of the way. Williams still averaged 15.5 yards per catch, but the Raiders drafted two wideouts and a gadget player (Lynn Bowden Jr.) in the first three rounds. The Raiders guaranteed Williams’ $11MM base salary earlier this year, but the ex-Charger has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond 2020.

Here is more injury news from the Raiders’ receiving corps and the latest from the rest of the Wests:

  • Las Vegas first-round pick Henry Ruggs suffered an injury helping a friend move last month but is expected to be ready for camp. While the Raiders’ newest speed merchant received stitches, he sustained no muscular damage, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Around six weeks remain until rookies report for camps.
  • The Rams are beginning a new era at running back, having cut five-year starter Todd Gurley. Darrell Henderson will be one of the players vying for the starting job. The second-year back, however, underwent ankle surgery this offseason, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. This issue may be behind him, with Rodrigue adding that Henderson has already participated in multiple Jared Goff-conducted throwing sessions (Twitter link). Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie second-rounder Cam Akers represent the top options in Los Angeles’ backfield.
  • The Broncos‘ backfield has two primary options, but it’s perhaps just as muddled. Given a two-year, $16MM contract, Melvin Gordon is in line to take Phillip Lindsay‘s starting job despite the latter’s back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. New Denver OC Pat Shurmur was said to have pushed for a “bellcow” back like Gordon, but Denver’s new OC denied he did so on Thursday. “I think that (rumor) is a false narrative. I’m all for adding good players at every position. I feel like Phillip Lindsay is an outstanding player who we can hand the ball to, or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now who can be very explosive with the ball in their hands, whether they throw it or run it, is a good thing,” Shurmur said, via Denver7’s Troy Renck. “You need more than one running back. … The whole ‘pounding the table’ narrative — listen, I’m the new guy here.”
  • While Lindsay showed promise as a pass catcher at Colorado, Gordon has been more productive as a pro in that area. Gordon’s $8MM-AAV deal and Lindsay’s $750K 2020 base salary would point to the former being ticketed for a change-of-pace role. Shurmur, however, said he envisions formations that will feature both Gordon and Lindsay, Renck tweets.

Latest On Broncos’ RB Plans

Before the Broncos decided on a Melvin GordonPhillip Lindsay backfield, they had another veteran standout on their radar. Denver was interested in trading for David Johnson, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports (subscription required).

The Broncos expressed interest in the former Cardinals All-Pro at the Combine but did not wish to meet Arizona’s asking price, Jhabvala adds. Johnson is now a member of the Texans, set to collect his full $10.2MM base salary despite Duke Johnson also on tap to earn $3.6MM in 2020. While the latter’s salary is non-guaranteed, Houston’s backfield has become quite expensive. After two years of using rookie-contract running backs, Denver’s has as well.

John Elway and Vic Fangio came to an agreement on needing a better 1-2 punch in the team’s backfield compared to what it possessed in its Lindsay-Royce Freeman setup of the past two years, Fangio said. New OC hire Pat Shurmur sought a “bellcow” back, per Jhabvala. Given that David Johnson was on the radar, the Broncos were undeterred by a large salary in their backfield.

This has created a situation in which Gordon is on track to displace Lindsay as the Broncos’ top running back. Gordon is also attached to a two-year, $16MM contract. Lindsay will make $750K in 2020. Despite becoming the first UDFA to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Lindsay denied he will seek a trade or prioritize a new deal. Elway confirmed Tuesday a new Lindsay agreement is not out of the question, but the 10th-year GM appeared to be more optimistic on this front at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

I’ve talked to Phillip’s agent and we’ll see what happens and what we can do later on,” Elway said. “That’s not a guarantee either way, but we’ll see what we can do later on.”

Lindsay’s agent, Mike McCartney, said (via Jhabvala) he hopes the Broncos will “do right by” his client after he “exceeded expectations.” No Lindsay extension discussions have occurred, however, Jhabvala adds. Lindsay cannot become an unrestricted free agent until 2022; he will be an RFA next March.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Gordon, Lawson

Devoting significant resources to retooling their offensive line, the Jets have not address their edge defender situation. Jordan Jenkins remains a free agent, but the team has not made a strong effort to re-sign their sack leader of the past two years, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. As far as the bigger names out there, the Jets are still not prepared to pay up for Jadeveon Clowney and do not have Yannick Ngakoue on the front burner, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. The Jets have explored an Ngakoue tag-and-trade move but are not planning to pursue the disgruntled Jaguars defensive end, Cimini adds. Gang Green will need to make multiple moves outside, however. Tarell Basham resides as the top edge rusher on the Jets roster; he registered two sacks last season.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Bills may or may not have expressed interest in Melvin Gordon. While 9News’ Mike Klis tweets that the Bills submitted an offer better than the Broncos’ two-year, $16MM proposal, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter indicated Buffalo did not do so (Twitter link). Regardless of whether an offer emerged, Schefter adds (via Twitter) Gordon’s agent did contact the Bills about a deal. The Bills are all set to go with Devin Singletary again; Frank Gore is a free agent.
  • George Fant‘s three-year, $27.3MM Jets deal essentially doubles as a one-year, $9.25MM investment, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. If the veteran tackle is still on the Jets’ roster by Day 5 of the 2021 league year, $4.45MM of his $8MM 2021 base salary becomes guaranteed, per OverTheCap. This still represents a nice deal for Fant, whom Mehta adds was only targeting $6MM per year before the Jets swooped in with their offer.
  • Shaq Lawson signed a three-year, $30MM Dolphins deal. While many teams prefer to backload free agency contracts, the Dolphins set Lawson’s up so he has a $10.3MM 2020 cap number, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Miami did this in order to lessen Lawson’s 2021 and ’22 cap hits, which OverTheCap lists as $9.3MM (’21) and $10.3MM (’22) figures.

Broncos To Sign Melvin Gordon

The Broncos have agreed to sign running back Melvin Gordon, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The former Bolts standout will receive a two-year deal worth $16MM, with $13.5MM of that sum being guaranteed.

Gordon made headlines for his prolonged holdout with the Chargers. When he finally returned to the field, he delivered mixed results.

In 12 games, Gordon averaged 3.8 yards per carry, a far cry from the 5.1 yards per tote that gave him so much leverage in 2018. The two-time Pro Bowler made a name for himself as a touchdown machine, but he didn’t find paydirt all that often – he had eight rushing TDs and one receiving TD, a big dropoff from the previous year’s total of 14 total scores.

There were bright spots, however, giving the Broncos and other teams plenty of reason to still believe in his ability. In Week 9, for example, he torched the Raiders for 108 yards. He also gave the Broncos an up-close look at what he can do in Week 12 – he came one yard shy of the century mark in Denver.

Last year, Phillip Lindsay became the first UDFA in league history to open his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. While he fights for a pay day of his own, the Broncos will add one of the league’s most notable tailbacks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Melvin Gordon Encountering Weak Market?

Melvin Gordon appears to have overestimated his market value. The five-year Chargers running back has not received the kind of interest he anticipated, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reporting (via Pro Football Talk) the offers coming the two-time Pro Bowler’s way are not on the level of the one the Bolts submitted last year.

During a lengthy impasse, the Chargers offered their former starting back a deal in the $10MM-AAV range. While that was not quite on the top tier of running back contracts at the time, it was still a lucrative pact at a position that has seen its place on the NFL salary spectrum steadily plummet.

No team is proposing anything “remotely close” to what the Chargers did last year, Garafolo adds.

The Chargers broke off extension talks late last summer, and Gordon did not make his 2019 debut until October. Last season proved to be a down year for the Bolts and Gordon, who saw Austin Ekeler outplay him. Ekeler now has a Chargers deal averaging north of $6MM per year. Gordon is undoubtedly seeking a contract worth far more, but as of Day 4 of free agency, such a buyer may not exist.

Set to turn 27 soon, Gordon is probably the best back on the market. He totaled at least 1,375 yards from scrimmage from 2016-18 and has 47 touchdowns over the past four years. While he has missed time due to minor injuries throughout his career, Gordon was healthy throughout 2019. And although Gordon averaged less than four yards per carry in four of five seasons, he was placed behind mostly bad Bolts offensive lines in that span. But he remains in free agency and may have to accept a lesser deal than he envisioned signing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.