Melvin Gordon Gets Into Twitter Dust-up with Radio Host over Broncos Contract

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos' decision to pay top-of-the-market money to ex-Chargers RB Melvin Gordon this past spring was met with some controversy. Gordon got $16 million on a two-year deal in Denver. 

Media and fans alike were left scratching our collective heads because, after all, the Broncos already had a bonafide Pro Bowl running back who'd proven he could be the workhorse in Phillip Lindsay and he'll soon need to get paid. Adding insult to injury, GM John Elway got Lindsay's hopes up that heading into his third year, the Broncos would take a hard look at giving him a raise since he'd outkicked the coverage on his rookie deal by a mile. 

None of the controversy surrounding the Gordon acquisition has anything to do with him as a player. As a 2015 first-round pick, he's got one 1,000-yard rushing season under his belt while earning two Pro Bowl selections. 

He's a great dual-threat back who can pound the rock inside and outside the tackles, while also being an above-average receiver out of the backfield. When it comes to the criticism Gordon's deal has garnered, the rub is twofold. 

One, the wisdom of paying big money to a running back on his second contract is highly questionable in the modern NFL. Two, the deal may have literally taken food off of Lindsay's table. 

That background sets the stage for a little Twitter dust-up that occurred on Tuesday between local radio host Brandon Stokley, who played for the Broncos for four seasons as part of a 15-year career, and Gordon. Stokley, who now works as one half of 104.3 The FAN's Stokley and Zach show, was triggered by a tweet from Spotrac that listed the NFL teams with the most money tied up in their QB, RB, and WR trio, which had the Broncos at No. 31. 

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Naturally, Gordon took exception to the notion of being an overpaid running back. Gordon now ranks as the seventh highest-paid RB in the league with an $8M APY. 

The dust-up with Stokley didn't end there, though. Stokley replied. 

Stokley's point is the same issue that has stuck in people's craw since Gordon was signed. Why pay through the nose for a RB when you already have one of the best play-makers at the position under contract? 

If it wasn't going to be diverted into Lindsay's purse, that money could have been spent elsewhere, like on a cornerback or offensive tackle like Jason Peters, Kelvin Beachum, or Cordy Glenn to give the Broncos some insurance behind the recidivist Garett Bolles and the injury-prone Ja'Wuan James. 

Gordon simply took the money the Broncos offered. He didn't give a second thought to Lindsay, and why would he? These are pros and they have to worry about their own careers. 

Now that they're teammates, Gordon will have to find a way to get along with Lindsay and I doubt there will be a problem in doing just that. Lindsay has already expressed an optimistic and mature outlook on the subject while admitting that the Broncos' decision to pay Gordon was upsetting and hurtful. 

"It caught me off-guard because it was like, 'Okay, I've put in the work and done all this' and it makes it seem like they don't respect you enough to know the work you're putting in," Lindsay told Terrell Davis back in May. "So I was really upset at the beginning, I'm not going to lie.

"But then I started to think—and I'm like, 'okay, the thing is this'—if something happens to me or something happens to him, it's hard. When I wasn't in the game, stuff was not going as well or smooth. But if you have somebody that can complement me like I did my rookie year where I'm not just running up the middle trying to get first downs all day. I was like, 'Okay, this takes some pressure off me. Now I can do my job and use my speed do my stuff and stay healthier, too.'"

For his part, Gordon has also expressed optimism about working with Lindsay, while paying him a compliment. 

“As far as with Lindsay, he’s a great back. I watched him up close in person," Gordon said back in May. "These last few days I’ve been watching film on him as well, just kind of seeing how they open things up for him and analyzing him a little bit. I think we can be a great one-two punch. Me and [Chargers RB] Austin [Ekeler] were kind of that one-two punch. I feel like we were one of the better tandems in the league. I just hope to continue that with Lindsay." 

Lindsay was hurt by the deal. Gordon is motivated to justify it and prove his doubters like Stokley wrong. 

Competition brings out the best in athletes, so when the chips fall where they may, it will be the best man who wins. Considering the fact that no running back, no matter how much money they make or how highly they were recruited or drafted, has ever been able to keep Lindsay off the field, I'm throwing my chips in on him. 

Maybe Stokley and Gordon can mend fences once the players get back to the practice field in training camp. Only time will tell. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

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Comments (31)
No. 1-18
ChrisB818
ChrisB818

The person who wrote this article clearly doesn’t think Gordon deserves his contract also. The fact of the matter is the Broncos were not good in short yardage running plays and in goal line running plays. Gordon while being a good receiver out of the backfield is also a good short yardage back. He’s going to score TDs for the Broncos. I couldn’t care less if he gets less than 1000 yards rushing because he’ll hopefully be over 400+ receiving yards and hopefully over 10-12 TDs. While he’s had only one 1000 yard rushing season he’s had 3 over 1375 all purpose yards. I hope they keep both him and Lindsay fresh all year and feed them both.

rjaugustine
rjaugustine

They could have spent the money elsewhere, but they need to score points this year. Gordon will help them do just that. Since we don’t have a QB controversy this year, it seems like some people are trying to create a RB controversy this year. Give it a rest.

Kebby77
Kebby77

How did they overspend? Look at what Elliot got from the cowgirls and Gurley was coming off 15 mill a year contract. I dont think they overspent at all. Would I like to see Lindsay get a little love ? Sure. Gordon will have a great year, watch and see.

Steve Atwater 27
Steve Atwater 27

Have to agree with Melvin here. Phil is a good back, and has benefitted greatly from the pathetic Denver offence past two years, putting up 2 1000 yard seasons thanks to a hopeless play book, and little to no backfield competition. IMHO, Phil has yet to show that he is a bell cow, good in pass protection, or good catching passes out of the backfield. MG covers ALL of those deficiencies in the Denver backfield (and they are huge) with his strengths, is an amazing third down back, and is super efficient at the goal line. He's a stud, with low milage and a chip on his shoulder. That makes two of them back there. Phil and Mel are gonna rock it.

kormathaw1
kormathaw1

I think the biggest issue is not that Gordon got paid what he deserved or that the Broncos won't benefit from him. I think the biggest issue is that as an UFA, everyone is rooting for Lindsay, and feels his pain at being looked over in the draft, but also at being underpaid for his contribution. Everyone wants Lindsay to get paid what he is worth and this is being viewed as a potential threat to that. I feel bad for Gordon as he has nothing to do with this.

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

So 1,000 yards when Lindsay only makes 20% of the 3rd down conversions means what exactly compared to Gordon's 60% conversion rate? That's right he missed 80% of the time. Red zone? Nada he actually contributed to our crappy low avg score. Has not run routes well, leads the team in drops, can't pass pro and had new surgery on a major injury. He didn't respond to coaching last year - just so we are clear. He got worse in the passing game. So he is literally half a back with half a game. So Lindsay has NOT proven squat when it comes to getting paid. Great kid and electric playmaker but there are serious issues UNPROVEN in his game and you don't pay for that. You wanna pay for another 20% 3rd down conversion rate under Lock? Really? You guys side step his shortcomings time and again and I refuse to have that crammed down my throat. Deal with his whole performance objectively. His shortcomings are every bit as bad as Bolles penalties. Go back and watch tape of those 3rd down misses and then tell us he so great. You have smart fans here - stop insulting us with this starry eyed nonsense. WHEN Phillip improves his game - he'll get paid. But if even he won't admit his shortcomings as you guys don't, then he'll go the way of others as one dimensional.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

I wish folks would stop dissing M.G. To have a one two punch RB tandem is a dream come true for the fans. M.G. is not at fault for Lindsay not getting paid nor for Elway making a commitment that never got fulfilled.

Vertcal Stripes
Vertcal Stripes

Brandon Stokely sounds envious. That explains why he would say such a thing.
As a former player being critical of MG's $$ comes off as not just envious but classless. I liked Stokely as a player and am surprised he is piling on with the other clickbaiters who just want attention and will say stupid things to get it.

jareal333
jareal333

Gordon is showing his true colors. There is no need ever to get into a spat with the media. He just can't let it go and enjoy his money. This is not going to work our well for either party. It is also another Elway blunder.

Tommy108
Tommy108

The comparison should be made to Freeman, not Lindsay. Phillip was never supposed to be a between the tackles or short yardage guy. He handled it well. But that had to stop.

KeithCummings
KeithCummings

Stoke loves stirring the pot it has to be said. Melvin Gordon showing he has bite as well as the bark.

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

I don't think what Stoke said was controversial, or disrespectful at all. The Broncos essentially went from a $600K RB to an $13M (guaranteed) RB. As soon as Gordon was signed, Lindsay moved to the second string RB. That's just a fact. Naturally there's tension between the two men, as there can only be 1 starting RB. However, the Broncos should benefit from both as they're stylistically very different. For me, it's hard not to ponder if some of that RB salary could've been allocated to the defensive secondary unit. Having met Stoke and observed practice with him, his football knowledge is impressive and accurate.

BobMorris
BobMorris

On one hand, I do think the Broncos overpaid Melvin Gordon.

On the other hand, just because the Broncos don't pay Melvin Gordon, doesn't mean they spend the money elsewhere.

If they aren't interested in a particular player, they will not sign him, plain and simple.

Clearly, they had interest in Gordon. You can debate what he is really worth in a contract (I know I have my opinion), but what isn't debatable is the Broncos had interest in Gordon.

For others in which people can point to would be upgrades over current players, the most likely explanations for why the Broncos haven't signed them are (a) the player is asking for more money than the Broncos feel comfortable paying or (b) the Broncos simply aren't interested in the player.

Sometimes the boring explanation is the correct one.

Pmanningsir1
Pmanningsir1

Lets be honest; Gordon isnt and hasn't been a top tier RB. He was hyped coming out of college because he was compared to TG. Unless you open a wide hole for him he doesn't get bulk yards. He's not elusive, not shifty, not break away, takes way to much punishment (often injured), he may break a tackle hear & there but often brought down on first contact, all he's really good for is banging the ball at goal line and can catch alittle; although thats something; its not worth 16mil. He had one highlite run jumping over a safety and became a superstar (gmab)#stokley on the money. Gordon reacted the way he did because he knows its true.

toddx7
toddx7

Gordon will probably be worth the extra money because of his pass catching ability. His running stats will also be fairly good.
If you look at James White in NE that is what a lot of teams are looking for.

Daussamp
Daussamp

Shurmur hired for success with the Giants is directly perportional to Barkley's abilities. I see similarities in Gordon. Just thinking

A3monster
A3monster

Yall just love hating on Melvin Gordon. Smfh. He's going to ball out AND make Lindsay's numbers go up. What's better than 1 good Rb ??? TWO

MileHiJ
MileHiJ

No one is talking about Royce Freeman who was supposed to get those 3rd down and goal line conversions. Another blown Elway draft pick but he's untouchable, right?


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