Denver Broncos: 4 cheaper options who could replace Melvin Gordon
The Denver Broncos have a terrific combination in the backfield with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, but Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2021 season.
The Denver Broncos will have a decision to make. Will they attempt to re-sign Gordon or will they decide to allocate those salary cap dollars elsewhere and turn Williams into the bell-cow runner?
It seems that Williams will become the guy getting the bulk of the carries sooner rather than later, but as I recently discussed, will the Broncos want to break up the continuity that has developed in this backfield?
Currently, Gordon has a projected market value of about $5.1 million annually, according to Spotrac. Williams will make just a shade over $2 million in 2022, so would the Broncos want to have that much money tied up by the running back spot? Would they want to pay north of $5 million per season to a guy who might not even be the starter?
Should the Broncos choose to move on from Gordon and turn the lion’s share of the carries in the backfield over to Williams, here are some potential players who could come with a smaller price tag than Gordon, all of whom are also scheduled to hit the free-agent market.
A former first-round pick of the New England Patriots, Michel was traded to the Los Angeles Rams this past summer after the team lost Cam Akers for the season. He has done a good job spelling Darrell Henderson there, but he will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Michel will turn 27 years old in February, meaning he should have at least a couple of good years left in him. He has not been worn out in the first part of his career as he has always been part of a committee approach, which he would fit right into in Denver.
Michel would be a solid No. 2 running back behind Williams and he would be cheaper than Gordon by a lot. The Broncos could sign him for half of the money Gordon will likely be seeking.