According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Broncos have agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, on a two-year deal worth $16 million, $13.5 million of which is guaranteed.
Source: The #Broncos and RB Melvin Gordon have agreed to terms on a 2-year deal worth $16M with $13.5M guaranteed. The former #Chargers star stays in the division, creating a strong 1-2 punch with Phillip Lindsay.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020
The deal is undeniably pricy, but Gordon reportedly turned down a more lucrative contract so he could stay in division and matchup with the Chargers twice a year.
That being said, Todd Gurley and Austin Ekeler, who used to back up Gordon, agreed to deals that will pay each $6 million a year. It’s hard to argue that Gordon deserves more than Ekeler, who was clearly much better than him in 2019, and a former Offensive Player of the Year in Gurley. It’s almost fully-guaranteed too, which makes the financials head-scratching to some.
While the contract might be a surprise, the move to sign Gordon is not. The Broncos were heavily tied to the running back position in the lead-up to free agency.
2018 third-round pick Royce Freeman has been a disappointment so far, and multiple Broncos coaching staffs have shown that they don’t trust Phillip Lindsay to shoulder a full workload by himself. With that in mind, you would expect the Broncos to pursue more of a power-back to better complement Lindsay, though a backfield pairing of Gordon and Lindsay should still be pretty dynamic.
While there are plenty of drawbacks to the signing, if Gordon returns to pre-2019 form, the contract could be more than worth it. From 2016 to 2018, Gordon gained at least 1,300 total yards and scored 12 or more touchdowns each season. Even in 2019, when his numbers dipped due to his four-game holdout to start the season, he tallied 900 total yards and scored 9 touchdowns.
Now, with a chip on his shoulder, Gordon could give the Broncos one of the league’s top backfield tandems.