Phillip Lindsay Sends Clear Message to Critics with Charged-Up Instagram Post

Chad Jensen

Exactly two weeks ago, Phillip Lindsay fired off a cryptic tweet. It read, "I'll tell you this; things always look sweet on paper."

At the time, yours truly interpreted Lindsay's tweet as a shot across the bow of the Denver Broncos front office that paid ex-Chargers RB Melvin Gordon $16 million on a two-year deal this past spring, instead of that money going into Lindsay's purse. With a Pro Bowl, back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher already on the roster, fans and media alike wondered why the Broncos went out of their way to pay top-of-the-market money to a free-agent RB. 

What we've gotten back from the team this offseason, based on the remarks of GM John Elway, Head Coach Vic Fangio, and Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur, was that the Broncos coveted Gordon's pass-catching and pass-blocking prowess. The implication being... Lindsay didn't check those boxes. 

And maybe he didn't. To end last season as he cleaned out his locker, Lindsay admitted that pass-catching and route-running was an element of his game he planned on focusing on improving this offseason. The very next day, Elway told local press that he would consider giving Lindsay an early extension this year. 

The extension has yet to materialize while Gordon, who is himself quite sensitive on the topic of his Broncos contract, hits the roster averaging $8M/year. Meanwhile, Lindsay is set to earn $750,000 in the final season of the three-year deal he signed as a college free agent. 

So, was I off the mark in supposing Lindsay's tweet from two weeks ago was a passive-aggressive statement about the coming RB competition in Denver? Not based on the Instagram story Lindsay posted on Tuesday evening. I grabbed a couple of screen-shots for your viewing pleasure. 

What happens next for the Broncos? Don't miss out on any news and analysis! Take a second and sign up for our free newsletter and get breaking Broncos news delivered to your inbox daily!

You'll notice that the first image is of Lindsay running a route with the caption 'Like I said, we gonna see.' What follows are a couple more images of Lindsay catching passes and running routes in his Broncos helmet with quarterback Drew Lock. 

If you don't think Lindsay is sending a message to the Broncos front office, I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. The Colorado Kid is fired up and as a brand-new father with a fresh outlook on life, he appears to be hell-bent on helping the Broncos to realize that the money that went Gordon's way perhaps would have been more wisely invested into him and his career. 

We already know that Lindsay was upset by the Broncos' decision to pay Gordon. Lindsay said so himself. But he has since amended his mindset to be open to seeing how the competition with Gordon can make him and the offense better. 

I don't know exactly when these photos were taken. But if these throwing sessions took place after June 20, it would mean that Lock and Lindsay are following Tom Brady's cue, ignoring the NFLPA's recommendation to cease all practices away from team facilities until training camps begin on July 28. That's if these photos were captured on June 21 or after. 

While players, like all health-conscious Americans, should take measures to mask up when indoors in public settings, there's nothing about throwing in the open air of a local park that is socially irresponsible. In the same spirit of understanding that we all take a risk every time we step outside our front doors — never knowing what life might throw at us — many NFL players aren't willing to let the threat of the coronavirus stop them from getting some badly needed reps in ahead of training camp. 

For teams like the Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who either have a new quarterback and/or are learning a new offensive system, the players could use every rep they can get with the NFL canceling the entirety of the Offseason Training Program — outside of the virtual Zoom meetings held online. 

Back to Lindsay. Pride is a powerful thing. Lindsay has always been a highly driven player. Undrafted guys who succeed are always searching for ways to maintain that chip on their shoulder, especially those who reach the pinnacles of individual success like Lindsay, who earned an unprecedented Pro Bowl nod as a rookie in 2018. 

It should be encouraging and exciting to fans to see how fired up he is about the coming season and competition with Gordon for Denver's RB supremacy. While there is likely plenty of room on offense to feature them both, when it comes to the starter's role, much like the movie Highlander — there can be only one. 

If I were a betting man, I'm still pushing my chips in Lindsay's direction. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (32)
No. 1-18
BuckinBronco
BuckinBronco

Love it. Go get yours, Phil!

Jefffrey55
Jefffrey55

Don't believe Lindsy is upset, but fired up to compete, welcomes the competition and although he wants follow through on what was said, me too, he knows the team is becoming more likely to be special with G-Man than without.

Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Get at em Phil. I'll be one of the first to eat crow if he shows improved receiving ability this season.

I've wrote about it after Austin Ekeler got his extension as well as spoken about it on DVDD. I've even said that John Elway doesn't owe him anything. Should Elway give him an extension? It's hard to argue against that. Does he "owe" him one? Absolutely not. Phil was already under contract. Gordon didn't have one. We can argue semantics all we want to, but those are the facts.

If Lindsay comes in with improved receiving ability and proves as a better receiving option than Gordon, you better believe that I'm going to eat all of the crow and write about it, admitting my wrong. Until then, he has to prove me wrong.

KeithCummings
KeithCummings

Got to love the fight in the dog. Wow. He really is a likeable character.

JDb5280
JDb5280

Because Elway is an alcoholic A-hole who makes a lot of bad decisions.

Rcsodak
Rcsodak

JDb5280JDb5280 said: Because Elway is an alcoholic A-hole who makes a lot of bad decisions.
Chiefs fan much?

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

I wish he would stop behaving like he has already has high skill sets he didn't show in live NFL games...running a few practice routes and playing show off doesn't mean you have arrived....as though the team is somehow wrong about the tape he put up. I think it's great he's fired up, motivated to work on his passing game [finally] and I also agree he's outplayed his contract - but not enough to command a $10 mm payday. Not yet anyway. He has to be more than one dimensional and convert on more that 20% of third downs. I've never seen anyone though get on Elway's good side by rubbing stuff like this in his face. DWare had a simple solution - go talk to the Man...especially since Elway said he would consider it. Could be though, his Agent got the raw truth from Elway and he just can't handle it. I'd respect him more if he, like a true professional, owned up to the shortcomings in his game rather than blab this on social media. It'd not just an I'll show you message - he's saying he's on his way out and that's a shame. Philip you led the team in drops and 20% 3rd down conversion - own it.

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

Kinda surprised a poker player like Elway would preemptively talk about giving him an extension knowing it might not happen.

I don’t know that they are actually going to pay him knowing that when Gordon’s contract is up, other players needing extensions will be coming due. You are either looking at or actively extending guys from the 2018-19 classes. I feel like Lindsay’s extension flew out the window with the Gordon deal. He isn’t going to be happy taking any less and yet you probably don’t want to wrap a whole lotta money up in him.

RBA
RBA

So great to see a player be motivated by adversity rather than pouting. My money is on Philip. Now if the nanny state will allow fans and players to decide what risks they are willing to take instead of acting like out of control despots, we can have a season. And if the concern is for old people these fans and players might come in contact with, I as a 77 year old would say the dame thing I would have them say to me. If you are scared to be near me then wear a mask and stay in your house and away from me!

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

I really like Phillip Lindsay. With what he has said this offseason, he has to back it up on the field. He definitely is the type who will do just that.

Letswin17
Letswin17

Wrist, wrist, wrist.

The forgotten facts.

Studlee14
Studlee14

I've been saying this since the MG signing, but it wasnt just about recieving ability. I dont care if Lindsay runs for another 1k and gets another 800 through the air: he still is a liability in the Redzone and on 3rd downs. If your team can only move between the 20s and cant punch it in it doesn't matter. Gordon has like an 80% success rate in the RZ. Lindsay needed his LG to throw him across the goaline.

xecutioner
xecutioner

Good managers follow up on remarks or justify the lack of. Elway’s Lindsey remarks got neither. Dementia, bad manager or both? Most likely, ahole.

Denver_guy
Denver_guy

Looking at Phil’s first 2 years it’s clear he was less effective getting more carries. I think Phil will be a great back up but the odds of elway admitting he tossed 13.5 million in the trash are slim

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Who doesn't like Phillip Lindsay in Broncos Country or the NFL? He's a rare and special player and has a lot to offer the Broncos. However, there's room for dramatic improvement in the spread-offense. His route running and ability to receive the ball leave something to be desired. While I can see that Lindsay feel slighted by the Broncos signing Melvin Gordon, Phillip has to understand his weaknesses in addition to his strengths. Not a huge fan of the social media announcements because there are some bad optics there in terms of tone, and delivery.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

We all wondered why Elway suggested an extension and a raise for Lindsay and then did nothing. Yet, based on how fired up Lindsay is, maybe Elway was the truly smart one. Perhaps he wanted to use the carrot (a possible raise and an extension) and the stick (silence after the suggestion) to get Lindsay motivated to improve, and apparently it worked. There is still time to do an extension if the pre-season shows that Lindsay is a complete back.

EdJL
EdJL

If Lindsay was 205 lbs. it would be completely different. The Broncos have been without a CJ Anderson type back who can break tackles and get that tough yard for some time. That's why Gordon was brought in. Lindsay should get that extension as he is a playmaker. But if Gordon works out then it will add another piece that's been missing since forever. If it blows up then it will be another black mark on Elway.

RBA
RBA

What's the problem? I can understand why Phillip wants the team to put all their eggs in his basket, but Elway is right. If it turns out that Lindsay is the man after this year, cut the other guy and give his money to Philip. If not, then we have three quality running backs. Can trade one or have back-ups for the inevitable fate of all running backs - early career injury. I personally am pulling for Lindsay to sweep the rug with Gordon but meanwhile he can improve more as a pass receiver and stay healthy as he is not run into the ground with 30 carries a game like so many others.


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY