Englewood, Colorado. – George Patton, general manager of the Denver Broncos, said the “door is open” for some of the team’s free agents to return to the team, even more than a month into the free agency.
On Tuesday night, Melvin Gordon III agreed to walk through that door. The eight-year-old, 29, has agreed to the terms of a one-year deal to return to the Broncos in a package that includes performance incentives.
Gordon is the third unrestricted free agent to re-sign with the Broncos on a one-year deal in recent weeks, joining safety Karim Jackson and defending Deshaun Williams. Contract terms were first reported by NFL reporter Jordan Schultz.
The veteran’s return – just days away from the NFL draft – suggests he knows he’ll be campaigning with Jafonte Williams once again. It also shows that the Broncos don’t think enough help in this situation can be found in this weekend’s draft. As a result, the Broncos are expected to open the season with the same appearances as last year: Williams, Gordon and Mike Boone.
To signify the move Tuesday night, Denver tweeted a post-game photo of Gordon with quarterback Russell Wilson when he was last with the Seattle Seahawks. Now, of course, they will be companions in the back.
Denver Broncos April 27 2022
Williams, who was the Broncos’ second-round pick in the 2021 draft and named to the All Rookie side in the league after the season, was asked after mini training on Tuesday about the possibility of Gordon returning to the squad if Gordon doesn’t get a better offer elsewhere later at free agency.
“I spoke to Mel recently, to see how he’s doing and see what he’s been up to,” Williams said. “Whatever (general manager) George (Patton) plans, I’m ready. If I have to split the load, or if I’m the initiator, it doesn’t matter. Whatever, I’m trying to win the Super Bowl.”
Gordon had said as last season drew to a close that he believed Williams had the skills to be the team’s best full-back, and because of that Gordon was hoping to find a position where he could be the undisputed first choice in the running game.
Last season, Gordon and Williams each had 203 carrycars, and Gordon led the team with 918 yards revving up to Williams’ 903 yards. Gordon struggled with hip, shoulder and thumb injuries, but only missed one game last season—the Broncos’ Week 13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Head coach of the year Nathaniel Hackett said he loves what he’s seen from Williams as well as Williams’ potential for a comeback. But Hackett also said at the opening of the small camp on Monday that he wanted depth at the site.
Since Gordon signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Denver Broncos prior to the 2020 season, he has always appeared to be the target of criticism from the team’s supporters regardless of his performance. He’s led the Broncos in rush in each of the past two seasons, scoring 20 touchdowns in 31 games.
But when asked about the possibility of leaving in free agency with the end of last season, Gordon added:
“Hell, yeah, I’m thinking about it. I’d like to be here. I don’t think a lot of people want me here, as far as the fans are concerned. I want to be here. I’ve seen a lot of things. And I understand. I understand. But I like it here.” I love the guys here. I love being here. Regardless of the hate now. I think it’s mostly fantasy. Fantasy football makes people a little tight in the back end.”
In 2020, he is considered by many to be the veteran most responsible for moving away from Denver South High School graduate and fan favorite Philip Lindsey. And last season, it was Williams who some fans wanted to see carry the ball more.
But Gordon persevered. He rushed for 6,144 yards and 53 touchdowns and had 284 receptions for 2,244 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven seasons.