Broncos and Melvin Gordon Have Mutual Interest in Return: Report

Broncos Melvin Gordon

Getty Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon during an interview.

At the NFL combine on Tuesday, Denver Broncos general manager George Paton said that the front office would like to re-sign running back Melvin Gordon III.

“I’ve had really good discussions with Melvin. We’d like to have him back. We still think he’s a really good back. I think you need two or three runners in this league. They’re going to get nicked. It’s a tough position.”

Gordon is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 16th, when free agency officially begins.

Gordon, himself, has expressed interest in returning to the Broncos, as well. He said the following to Troy Renck of Denver7:

“I have been wanting to come back. I would love to win a championship in Denver. I made a lot of great relationships with the guys. I feel like we have a really good team. To leave a talented team and go somewhere else would suck.”

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Gordon and Javonte Williams Formed a Dynamic Running Back Duo

Last season, Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams formed a dynamic duo at running back. Gordon’s 4.5 yards per carry led the team (minimum 15 attempts). Meanwhile, Williams led the entire NFL in both broken tackles (31) and rush attempts per broken tackle (6.5).

The running game was a vital part of Denver’s offense last season, as Gordon and Williams both eclipsed 200 carries.

With the 21-year-old Williams on the roster, bringing back Gordon is not a necessity. However, it would be a great luxury to have.

As Paton alluded to, injuries often occur at the running back position. Last season, the Baltimore Ravens lost the top three running backs on their depth chart (J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill) before the season even began.

Re-signing Gordon would give the team some extra insurance and would reduce the potential workload on Williams.

Breaking Down the Broncos’ Options at Running Back

Spotrac estimates Gordon’s market value to be $5.2 million per season. That would make him the 17th highest paid running back in the NFL by average annual salary, according to Over The Cap.

Re-signing Gordon to a one-year, $5.2 million deal would not be a bad decision for the Broncos to make. It would leave them plenty of cap space to address other needs on the roster, and it would not hinder them in any future offseasons.

If the Broncos do not reach a deal with Gordon, they should be able to find a talented running back in the NFL draft. Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III is an excellent Day 2 option. Last season, Walker rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns; he finished sixth in Heisman voting.

In free agency, Justin Jackson is an interesting option. He has been extremely efficient during his tenure with the Los Angeles Chargers. Across four seasons, he is averaging 5.0 yards per carry on a total of 206 carries.

He is also productive as a receiver; he had a catch percentage of 88 percent last season.

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