Running back Melvin Gordon and the Broncos have agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $5 Million for the 2-time Pro Bowler to return to Denver.
Last season, Gordon and then-rookie Javonte Williams split the bulk of the work and yielded similar results. They each had exactly 203 rushing attempts, with Gordon out-gaining Williams by just 15 yards, 918-903. The seven-year vet did double up the youngster in rushing touchdowns, eight to four. In the passing game, Williams snagged 43 passes, to Gordon's 28, and had three scores to Gordon's two.
As the free agent carousel spun and stopped, there were not a lot of big money deals for running backs. There are teams that needed help in the backfield, but based on Gordon's production, those teams were seemingly unwilling to commit the necessary amount of money to land the former first round pick of the Chargers. Gordon, who holds the Wisconsin all-time single season rushing mark, was teammates with Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson in 2011 in Madison.
Of course, the real question is how will the work load be split between Gordon and Williams? Williams was asked about Gordon and his potentially new role Tuesday afternoon following the Broncos second day of veteran mini-camp.
"I’ve been talking to ‘Mel’ (RB Melvin Gordon III) lately, seeing how he is and seeing what he’s been doing," Williams said. "Whatever [General Manager] George [Paton] has planned, I’m ready. If I have to split carries, or if I’m the starter—it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, I’m just trying to win the Super Bowl."
The run game is certainly going to be a focal point of the Nathaniel Hackett offense. In fact, defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero brought it up during his Tuesday chat with the media, as well.
"It's tremendous because this Shanahan scheme that people are starting to attend to—I wonder if it's even called Shanahan scheme—but it's going through the league, the run game especially. So getting this work, I think we're going to have one of the best run offenses in the league. So getting practice against that weekly, and daily, is going to be awesome. Then also going against the quarterback, with all the keepers and stuff off of it—it's good. It's great work. They're going to challenge us a lot with the formations and the tempo and all those different type of things. It's going to be awesome in terms of getting us ready for the season," Evero said.