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Free agent Melvin Gordon agrees to return to Broncos on one-year deal

Veteran will pair with Javonte Williams in backfield
Washington Broncos Football
Posted at 8:45 PM, Apr 26, 2022

ENGLEWOOD — The new message on the Broncos' weightroom wall reads: "The Storm is Coming."

There will be "Thunder and Thunder" in the forecast. That moniker applied to the backfield of rookie Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon last season. Gordon told Denver7 last month he would welcome a reunion. Tuesday night, Gordon agreed in principle on a one-year deal that can max out at $5 million with incentives, according to a source.

It completes a four-month back-and-forth where both parties kept the door ajar for the veteran to run it back.

Gordon, who turned 29 on April 13, remained open to pairing with Williams. The market softened for running backs after the first two weeks of free agency, and Broncos general manager George Paton maintained a dialogue with Gordon, who switched representation a few weeks ago. Paton admitted, "You need two or three runners in this league."

Quarterback Russell Wilson confirmed Gordon's signing, tweeting, "25!!! We got us a Stable! #LetsRide"

Gordon told Denver7 in March why he wanted to return.

"I would love to win 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," said Gordon, who rushed for 918 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021. "It’s a job unfinished, and we need to finish the job. I would love to stay. I talked with George, we spoke on it. He told me he thinks highly of me. I really like the way he runs things and does things."

Paton appreciated how Gordon worked with Williams. Gordon served as a veteran mentor as Danny Woodhead did for him as a rookie with the Chargers. And Gordon and Williams complemented each other well. They combined for 17 touchdowns, while splitting the workload evenly.

It's unclear how the duties would be divvied up this season, but Williams said Tuesday he was fine with Gordon coming back.

"I’ve been talking to ‘Mel’ lately, seeing how he is and seeing what he’s been doing. Whatever George has planned, I’m ready," said Williams, who posted 903 rushing yards on 203 attempts. "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.”

When the Broncos acquired Wilson six weeks ago, Gordon hinted he would stay in Denver. He played with Wilson for one season at Wisconsin, and when Wisconsin tweeted a photo of the two together, Gordon responded, "My brother 4 Life….. let’s see how this turns out.”

While Gordon has drawn some criticism for fumbles, his production has been impressive, leaving many in Broncos Country to warm up to him in his second year. In two seasons in Denver, he has rushed for 20 touchdowns in 31 games, while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Gordon believes he has plenty of good years left.

"They see backs, they think whatever, they get to 30 or high 20s, they feel like they've gotta decline. They don’t. I look at Frank Gore’s numbers almost every day. I have it saved in my phone. Year eight, he was still putting up 1,000 yards (1,214). Year nine, he still was putting up 1,000 yards (1,128). That’s kind of how I see my future. I love football. He’s a great person to model after," Gordon said last month. "Obviously, health is the biggest thing, and that is in God’s hands."