The Denver Broncos signed free agent running back Melvin Gordon to a two-year contract worth $16 million in total money. What impact can he have?
The Denver Broncos have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with former Los Angeles Chargers Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon.
Gordon, who is going to turn 27 next month, reportedly signed for $16 million over two years with $13.5 million guaranteed.
The structure of the contract being almost fully guaranteed is interesting from the Broncos’ perspective, because it’s not something we’ve really ever seen them do. Their interest in Gordon has been rumored for a bit now, so while this move took some time to develop compared to others, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
The move was first reported out of Wisconsin, where Gordon played his college ball.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first big-market reporter to confirm the details of the Gordon deal with the Broncos.
There seems to be a pretty hard split down the middle of Broncos fans between those who love the move and those who hate it.
The Broncos’ official Twitter account is having some fun with free agency, too.
Those who hate the move point to Gordon’s career yards per carry average which sits right at 4.0. It would be under four were it not for a 2018 season in which he averaged 5.1 yards per carry, the only one of his five seasons he was above the 4.0 mark.
In addition to a low YPC average, Gordon has been a thousand-yard rusher just one time in his career (2017) and that was also the first and only year in his five NFL seasons that he’s played in all 16 games.
The final piece that those who hate this move will point to is the success of NFL running backs on a second contract, or lack thereof. The principle of paying veteran running backs in today’s NFL climate is extremely unpopular among many fans, and you need only to point to the current situation of Todd Gurley to see that paying a running back ridiculous money is not always a fruitful endeavor.
Those who love the move will point to the fact that over the last four seasons, only two players in the entire NFL — two — have more scrimmage touchdowns than Gordon, who has 47 since 2016.
Although his YPC average has been low, Gordon has proven to be an effective dual-threat at the running back position with the ability to finish drives on a consistent basis.
It’s also exciting to think about the potential of Gordon in tandem with Phillip Lindsay. This is something we wrote about earlier in the offseason when discussing the possibility of the Broncos adding a free agent running back.
Last season, Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 20 total touchdowns and even though Ekeler received more touches, it gave a glimpse perhaps of what the Broncos envision here.
We’ll see what Gordon can bring to the Broncos. He was a four-game holdout this past season and it clearly didn’t help his overall value. He lost money in the long run, but now he has a chance to prove he can bounce back in Denver and he certainly has a paycheck to live up to.