ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III tendered a not guilty plea to DUI and speeding charges on Thursday.
Denver County Court Judge Olympia Fay set Gordon's disposition hearing for Wednesday, Feb. 24 with a jury trial set for Thursday, April 8. Gordon was represented at the virtual hearing Thursday by attorneys Robert Malen and Eric Nesbitt.
Any type of guilty plea would likely bring a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy. It would also void the $4.5 million salary guarantee Gordon has coming from the Broncos as part of his $7 million payoff for 2021. The NFL had security officer Michael Rankin observing Gordon's plea hearing Thursday.
Gordon was arrested late on the night of Oct. 13 on suspicion of driving under the influence and going 71 mph in a 35 mph zone. He did not take a breathalyzer, opting instead for a field sobriety test, which didn't satisfy the officers at the scene.
> Above video: Gordon expresses remorse getting himself in situation that led to DUI
“I’m sorry I was even in the situation,’’ said Gordon in October. “I don’t want people to feel like, ‘Oh, because Melvin didn’t say anything, or he didn’t speak on it, he just doesn’t care and he’s not apologetic about the situation.’ That’s not the case at all.
“I try to do my best to walk a straight line and lead by example with things like that. I’m a little upset that I even put myself in the situation for it to be brought to others, including my family who was reaching out.
“I had a hard time dealing with it myself. Like I said, I hadn’t been in trouble before, so it was tough. To the people of Denver and everyone, I don’t want anyone to feel like I don’t care and say, ‘Oh, he got his money, he doesn’t care.’ I do. I’m not happy I was in the situation. This is something I wanted to let you know that you can put out to the people for me.”
According to a probable cause (PC) statement, Gordon was clocked going 71 mph in a 35 mph at approximately 11:43 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 5th Avenue and Speer Boulevard in Denver.
Gordon pulled over near 1st Avenue and Humboldt Street. When officers began speaking with Gordon, they said his speech was slurred, his eyes were watery and that his breath had a moderate smell of alcohol.
Gordon swayed while he was out of his vehicle, according to the PC statement.
Gordon consented to a field sobriety test and performed unsatisfactorily, officers said. The PC statement says Gordon exhibited "validated indicators of impairment."
Officers requested paramedics who performed a blood draw on Gordon. The results of that blood draw are still pending, according to the report.
Gordon was also ticketed for speeding between 25 mph and 39 mph over the limit.
Gordon finished the 2020 season as the NFL’s 10th-ranked rusher with 966 yards, the third best total of his six-year career. He rushed for 1,105 yards in 2017 and 997 yards in 2016 for the Chargers.
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