Melvin Gordon III Waived by Broncos; Had 5 Fumbles in 10 Games

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Melvin Gordon III #25 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after scoring their second touchdown in the second half during the NFL match between Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on October 30, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have waived running back Melvin Gordon III.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the move and added that "Gordon's fumbles proved too much" this season.

The two-time Pro Bowler has run for 318 yards and two touchdowns on 90 carries but fumbled the ball five times in 10 games. His fifth came in Sunday's 22-16 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Some were surprised to see the Broncos sign Gordon in the first place since they already had a 1,000-yard rusher, Phillip Lindsay, on the roster. Royce Freeman, whom Denver selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, had been a solid enough secondary ball-carrier as well.

In his first two years with the team, Gordon ran for 1,904 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 371 yards and three scores.

The emergence of Javonte Williams and offseason acquisition of Russell Wilson foreshadowed a change both in the direction of the offense and with Gordon's role.

As bad as his fumbling problem is, his exit is a bit unexpected given how much injuries have hit Denver's backfield. Williams suffered a season-ending torn ACL in October, and Chase Edmonds is expected to miss multiple weeks because of a high ankle sprain, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

It's perhaps a telling indictmet of Gordon that the Broncos would prefer to roll with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack as their two best running backs rather than keep him on the roster any longer.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero noted Gordon will carry an $836,111 base salary and $102,941 each week in roster bonuses. Another team might be willing to take a flier for the remainder of the season in the hope a change of scenery helps him reset.