ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Don’t get any wrong ideas. Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III will attend the team’s mandatory minicamp next week.
“Hell, yeah, I’ll be there,’’ Gordon said Tuesday in a phone interview with 9NEWS. “I’m not getting fined.”
Gordon has been in and out of Broncos’ headquarters since re-signing with the team five weeks ago on a one-year, $2.5 million deal that includes another $1.5 million in incentives. After making $16 million in his first two years with the Broncos, Gordon isn’t about to take another $95,877 hit in fines for skipping the three minicamp practices next week at UCHealth Training Center.
He did attend a few workouts with the team during the Phase 2 period in early May. He just hasn’t been there through the voluntary OTA (organized team activity) practices the past three weeks.
“I’ve been getting together with Russ to go over the playbook,’’ Gordon said of Broncos' quarterback Russell Wilson, in reference to their meetings at an undisclosed location. “We’ve been getting together around 6:30 some days to go through the plays.”
Otherwise, Gordon works out on his own rather than attend OTAs for a couple reasons. One:
“Coach (Anthony) Lynn told me a long time ago a running back only has so many cuts in him,’’ Gordon said.
Let’s add it up. At Wisconsin, Gordon had 631 carries for 4,915 yards (an astounding 7.8 yards per carry) and 45 touchdowns over four years. In seven NFL seasons – five with the Chargers and the previous two in Denver -- Gordon has accumulated 1,477 carries for 6,133 yards (4.2 yards per) and 53 touchdowns.
He’s had five seasons of at least 885 yards rushing with back-to-back 900-plus yard seasons with the Broncos.
Combine those totals over the past 11 years: 2,108 carries, 11,048 yards and 98 touchdowns. Rushing. As a receiver out of the backfield, Gordon has combined for another 306 catches for 2,472 yards and 18 touchdowns (almost all his receiving stats are from the NFL).
A little calculation and Gordon has more than 2,400 touches, amassing more than 13,500 yards and 116 touchdowns combined rushing and receiving from college and the NFL.
All that for a running back who is still 10 months shy of his 30th birthday. Isn’t that enough?
“I don’t think 29, 30 years old as a running back is what it used to be from back in the day,’’ Gordon said. “There’s so much better advanced training today that a running back can stay young longer than they used to.”
Plus, a running back doesn’t need to get his timing down as a receiver might with a quarterback. The timing of a professional handoff might take five minutes. The timing between a quarterback and receiver may take a couple years. Although Gordon does run a few routes for Wilson during their individual time together.
Still, with a new offense and quarterback, does new head coach Nathaniel Hackett give Gordon any guff for not being around for OTAs?
“No, as a matter of fact, he just said to let him know the next time I was around so he could give me a hug,’’ Gordon said. “I was in there this morning and I saw him in the workout room and sure enough he came up and gave me a big hug. So he lived up to his word.”
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