Phillip Lindsay Dismisses Notion of him Seeking Trade from Broncos

Chad Jensen

What really rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way when the Denver Broncos gave RB Melvin Gordon a two-year, $16 million contract little more than a week ago were the implications it had for Phillip Lindsay. 

Lindsay has been the Broncos' heart and soul for the last two years and arguably, the team's most valuable player. In his end-of-season presser back in December, GM John Elway breathed life into the topic of getting Lindsay paid, telling local media that he would look into it and that the team would "like to do something". 

Now, however, the available salary cap dollars have all but dried up and Lindsay is left holding the bag, as it were. This has led some to wonder, and perhaps even worry, that Lindsay might want out of Denver. However, to believe that would be to completely ignore the character the former CU Buffalo star has displayed throughout his football career. 

“Nah. If you’re hearing that stuff I don’t know where you’re getting that from," Lindsay told KUSA's Mike Klis on Monday. "Nothing like that going on."

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Lindsay wants to be clear about the dynamic with Gordon. The 'Colorado Kid' welcomes and relishes competition and will not only embrace Gordon as a teammate but also the opportunity to vie for the starting job. 

“Melvin’s not my enemy,’’ Lindsay told 9NEWS via phone call. “He’s my teammate. He needs to do his job but best believe I’m going to do my job.’’

Has Lindsay out-played his contract with the Broncos? To argue anything other than a resounding 'yes' would be remiss. 

Lindsay entered the league as a college free agent in 2018 and fought his way onto the roster quickly. By mid-season, he had earned the Broncos' starting job and by the time the year was up, he'd eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing while posting 10 total touchdowns. 

It earned him an unprecedented Pro Bowl nod as an undrafted rookie, though he couldn't play in the game due to a wrist injury suffered in the second-to-last game of the season. Just in case anyone viewed his dynamic rookie performance as a flash in the pan, Lindsay produced yet another 1,000-yard rushing campaign in 2019, making him one of only four Broncos' running backs all-time to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. 

I shudder to think what complexion this team would have taken on had Lindsay chosen to sign with the Baltimore Ravens as a CFA, which almost happened. His presence and explosive play-making ability has single-handedly won several games for the Broncos. 

Although he's entering just his third NFL season, because he's a former CFA, he's eligible now to get an extension. The kid more than deserves it, especially with a baby on the way. 

“I feel like I’ve outplayed my contract," Lindsay told Klis. "I deserve to take care of my family, too. But I’m under contract still. My mindset is to play out my contract. The fact is, nothing has to be done. You can’t make anybody do something they don’t want to do." 

For now, all Lindsay can do is focus on the things he can control. That is, his mindset and work ethic. But despite reports that the Broncos plan to make Gordon the 'bell-cow' in the offense, remember; he'll have to vanquish Lindsay first. No running back has been able to do that yet, dating back to Lindsay's high school days. 

“When camp comes around it’s going to be a battle,’’ Lindsay told Klis. “I’m not just going to sit there and give somebody the job. They can. But I’m going to go out there and I’m going to battle."

While I rebel at the notion of the Broncos investing even more money into the running back room, the bottom line is, what's right is right. Lindsay deserves a raise, even if it doesn't amount to a deal commensurate with Gordon's $8M APY. 

The Broncos still have some cap wiggle room, though it's dried up significantly over the last two weeks. However, with a creative cap guru in Rich Hurtado on staff and in light of the salary cap being projected to grow substantially in 2021, I have full faith that the Broncos could find way to fit a Lindsay deal in. 

As it stands, Lindsay enters the 2020 season set to earn $750K in base salary. Meanwhile, Gordon has yet to play a single snap in the Orange and Blue and will take home nearly 10 times that amount ($7M). That's not right. 

For his part, Gordon has said nothing but positive things about working with Lindsay. 

"I think we can be a great one-two punch," Gordon said in his conference call with local media last week. "Me and [Chargers RB] Austin [Ekeler] were kind of that one-two punch... Right now, it’s about winning football games. We’ll worry about that later. We’re just trying to put the team in the best position to win football games and score points.”

Once life returns to normalcy and the Broncos hit the practice field, the games will begin. May the best man win. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

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Comments (22)
No. 1-8

I keep suggesting peeps actually listen to what Elway says rather than project what they think the Broncos intentions are. The Man told us what the plan would be and yet no one listens. Like everybody freaking out when FA opened...what a waste. We find out this week they actually had a plan and followed it...imagine that. Did pretty well, though you only gave them a C...they get an A- from me. They flat killed it and may not be done yet. So, long ago Elway said they would look at Lindsay's comp after the one includes that part. AFTER! .... Geez. My guess is he gets a bump and incentives, until he can prove he can pass pro, actually catch passes and so on. IF he wants to get top money you have put up the "all-around" tape. Otherwise you are a $3 mm Sproles. What of the medical are the injury contributed to the drops? We wouldn't know that. Lindsay can be mad all he wants but until he outplays Gordon, he can't get paid like him. Anyone seriously analyze why the Broncos prioritized this? You really think they are just gonna blow dough without good reason - in the RB room? The Superbowl Champs are in our Division...the guys that, ya know, actually did it. We have to at least split with them to have a prayer to contend. Gotta score a lot of point to do that...hence this move, and moving up to get a WR and more to come...they need all if it, including Lindsay to make it work...

Dick Hanky
Dick Hanky

I thought he said after FA. Either way, do you have a link where he said that? I'd like to hear/read what he said.


Hanky Dick, you find negativity about the Broncos & Elway in everything so why do you even care. I’m positive you’re a Quiefs or Browns fan w/ nothing better to do.


The thing I do like about Lindsey in his first two years as a Bronco. Not the 1000 yards per year or his yards per carry. But the fact that he touched the ball over 480 times in two years with zero fumbles. He adds a lot to the team and doesn't hurt you. He needs to stay in Denver. Pay the man!!

Vertcal Stripes
Vertcal Stripes

I LOVE Lindsay's attitude. PL gets it and always says the right thing because that's how he lives his life. He says "bring it" and proves it. He knows he'll have to earn what he gets and that his career is a work in progress. He knows what he's capable of and that he'll eventually get the $$. How can you not love a guy like that? Wouldn't it be refreshing if players in all of pro sports had the same view?

Bucky Bronco
Bucky Bronco

Elway needs to double Lindsey’s pay this year at the very least, then work on a longer term contract or let Lindsey test free agency in 2021. That way there shouldn’t be any hard feelings about money. That kind of thing is toxic for a team.


Yeah ! What if Lindsey outplays or at least matches Gordon this year which could totally happen ? With Gordon making 10 times as much that would be time for a holdout with some players but with Lindsey it would be time to move to another team next season. Elway needs to increase his pay this year out of respect for the man.