The Broncos’ season, once filled with visions of an AFC West title and a Super Bowl appearance, has all but burst into a flaming dumpster fire that’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Coming off a 22-16 overtime loss to the Raiders, the Broncos waived Melvin Gordon, a move that was probably long overdue.
Despite holding the RB1 title following Javonte Williams‘ ACL tear, Gordon has struggled to produce (though, so has the rest of that offense).
In 10 games, Gordon has accumulated 318 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 90 attempts, only reaching over 50 rushing yards in a game twice. He’s also caught 25 receptions for 223 receiving yards.
However, Gordon’s worst trait this season has been his hands. He’s fumbled five times this season, his most recent coming Sunday. On 3rd and 1, Gordon miffed it at the goal line, forcing the Broncos to attempt a kick (which was ultimately blocked).
Let's check in on the Broncos…
1. Melvin Gordon fumbles on 3rd & 1, Broncos recover but have to attempt a FG before halftime…. pic.twitter.com/DV8lcSRFv3
— 𝗙𝗢𝗟𝗟𝗢𝗪 @𝗙𝗧𝗕𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗱𝟳 (@FTBeard7) November 20, 2022
That was the final straw, and Gordon — now a free agent after passing through waivers — will be heading to a new team. His rough patch feels like it should be a clear sign to stay away, but then again, one man’s trash could be another man’s treasure.
Could the Eagles be a fit for Gordon?
Which brings us to the Eagles. It’s no secret the team has been wanting another RB this season, having been connected to Christian McCaffery and Kareem Hunt prior to the deadline.
Ultimately, no trade was made, so Miles Sanders continues to lead the corps. Which is obviously good: he’s on track to have his best season to date, though given his injury history, Kenny Gainwell as the starter in such an event isn’t ideal.
Performances aside, the 29-year-old Gordon’s experience and veteran presence is valuable to have, especially when your two young, top backups have a combined 213 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the extended absence of Dallas Goedert has created a need for an additional playmaker.
Also noteworthy are the connections Gordon and the Eagles’ staff have. Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen both overlapped with the running back on the Chargers (Steichen from 2016 to 2017, and Sirianni from 2016 to 2019).
Because of that familiarity and the team’s overall success, the Eagles could be enticing for Gordon. Should it be the same vice versa? Again, the struggles and fumbles are worrisome. But it’s hard to ignore that kind of value a backup could bring come the stretch run and playoffs.
Of course, the signing of Gordon also has the opportunity to blow up in the team’s face, so if the oft-calculated Howie Roseman doesn’t feel like the potential benefits outweigh the risks, he should probably be avoided.
Could another recently waived RB be in play?
Gordon isn’t the only notable running back to be let go in the last couple days. In a much more surprising move, the Rams waived RB Darrell Henderson despite their uncertain backfield.
Like Gordon, Henderson has struggled. After registering 688 rushing yards, 176 receiving yards, and five touchdowns in 2021, he’s put up 283 rushing yards in 11 games this year, only rushing above 40 yards in a game four times.
Henderson doesn’t offer the pass-catching skills Gordon would, and his nagging injuries isn’t great. But his upside seems to be much greater than Gordon at this point, and he doesn’t have the same carrying concerns.
That comparison may end up not mattering – Henderson seems to have a solid chance of being claimed by some team given his age (25) and potential. If he does manage to make it through, however, the Eagles should definitely keep an eye on him.