Melvin Gordon should never carry the football for the Broncos again
Oct 4, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: 1:42 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Denver Broncos should have cut Melvin Gordon on Monday.
They didn’t, so they should cut him today. Or tomorrow. But please just do it before the game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. Don’t tempt Nathaniel Hackett to call a play that hands him the football.
When Gordon fumbled for a fifth time in five games against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, it broke Broncos Country. It was a culmination of knowing Gordon’s lost it, but still seeing it happen yet again. For the third time in 12 games, an opposing defense returned a Gordon fumble for a touchdown. It’s mind boggling and inexcusable. It’s insane he’s still on the team.
Broncos GM George Paton needs to admit it was a mistake to re-sign Gordon this past offseason and let him go. Who cares if Denver has to eat the rest of his $2.5 million salary for this year? It’s not our money, and the Broncos’ new owners can certainly afford it.
Gordon was so distraught in his postgame press conference, he left the podium after a very reasonable question from our Senior Broncos writer Andrew Mason. It was unprofessional of Gordon, although he did appear to be on the verge of tears. That’s what happens when a guy knows he’s done. Gordon has now fumbled five times in his past 44 carries.
And while the news of Javonte Williams’ devastating knee injury on Monday put an even bigger damper on the loss to Vegas, it shouldn’t change anything for Gordon. Just because Williams shredded his knee means Gordon should get another chance? That logic doesn’t sit well with me.
Against the Colts, Mike Boone should be the workhorse and No. 1 back. He flashed some potential against the Raiders, although he does need work in the passing game. Promote Devine Ozigbo from the practice squad and make him the backup. He at least knows the system.
And after that, Paton poached Latavius Murray from the New Orleans practice squad on Monday night. Who knows if he’ll be ready to roll by Thursday while learning a new playbook, but Denver should definitely give him a uniform as an emergency backup.
Murray represents a significant upgrade from Gordon, considering he’s fumbled just once in the last five seasons. Heck, there are high school running backs in Colorado with better ball security. Right now, Gordon has the fumbling yips, and they’re not going to get cured overnight.
His mistakes have been plentiful, and they’ve cost the Broncos multiple games. The fumble against Vegas changed the whole vibe, feel and momentum of the day. Yes, Russell Wilson led an excellent touchdown drive to get the Broncos back in it, but that was with Gordon on the sideline. Him being on the field is a curse for Denver right now.
Is Paton the kind of general manager who can admit he messed up and fix a poor decision? Or is he stubborn and thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room? We’re going to find out.
Paying Gordon to come back this offseason after he sat on the free agent market for a month was a huge mistake. Clearly 31 other GMs didn’t think he was worthy of still playing in the NFL.
And it’s not like Gordon is some all-time great Bronco that makes this decision agonizing or tough for Paton. His time in Denver has been mediocre at best, with the fumbling problem sliding it toward disappointing. If he plays on Thursday and fumbles, I shudder to think about the reaction from fans at Empower Field at Mile High. He’ll be one of the most disliked Denver athletes in this town’s history.
So Paton needs to make sure that doesn’t happen. And the best way to do it is release Gordon ASAP. It should have already been done, but there’s still time to make sure he never carries the football for the Broncos again.
At this point, it’s the only option. And it’s the most fair and logical solution for the players on the team and fans across the Rocky Mountain region.