Melvin Gordon looks to be on the move.
The Los Angeles Chargers recently agreed to a four-year extension with running back Austin Ekeler worth $24.5 million, seemingly making him the feature back in LA. Gordon and the Chargers have had their differences in the past, but this might be the true end of the road.
Gordon rushed for 612 yards and eight touchdowns last season for Los Angeles in 12 games. He did, however, fumble four times, including one at the goal line against the Tennessee Titans that cost the Chargers the game.
Between the ball security issues and the holdout drama, the Chargers seem content to move forward with Ekeler and let Gordon go to free agency.
Here are some possible destinations for the two-time Pro Bowler:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers had the ninth-worst rushing offense in the NFL last season. Between Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber, and Dare Ogunbowale, Tampa Bay doesn’t have a feature running back to rely on from game-to-game.
Tampa Bay has been searching for a workhorse back since Doug Martin in 2012, and Melvin Gordon could fill that role nicely.
The Bucs are one of the most financially flexible teams in the NFL. They have $84 million in cap space, which is more than enough to pay Gordon what he wants and have money left over to address other needs.
Tampa Bay scored the fourth-most points per game last season. Adding Gordon to an offense with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin would make them one of the scariest groups in 2020.
The Dolphins have more holes in their roster than any team in the NFL, but running back is one of the most glaring.
Miami finished 2019 as the worst rushing offense in the NFL. They traded their most explosive back, Kenyan Drake, to the Arizona Cardinals midseason and couldn’t get anything going on the ground since.
Kalen Ballage and Patrick Laird spearheaded the Dolphins backfield in 2019, but neither even led the team in rushing. In fact, he leading rusher for Miami last season wasn’t even a running back. It was Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Any more questions? Good. Now Miami, go pay Melvin Gordon whatever he wants.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are coming off an incredible year that ended in the team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t improve the roster.
LeSean McCoy is well out of his prime. Darrell Williams is a promising, young talent, but he’s not ready to lead a backfield yet. Damien Williams was awesome in the Super Bowl, but Gordon is an elite replacement.
Gordon would add a whole new dimension to the Chiefs backfield as a pass-catcher. He’s had at least 42 receptions in each of the last few seasons. No running back for Kansas City caught more than 30 passes last year.
Andy Reid is one of the most ingenious minds when it comes to getting running backs into open space, so he would have a field day with Gordon.
The money would be tight, but Melvin Gordon would be more inclined to take a pay cut knowing he would have a clear road to the Super Bowl.
The Bills make the most logical sense for both parties in this situation. Buffalo has the most free cap space in the league by a wide margin, so the price tag wouldn’t be an issue.
A three-headed attack with Gordon at the helm, Devin Singletary as the third-down speedster, and Frank Gore as the goal-line bully makes almost too much sense.
With a healthy Gordon, the Bills would have the upside to unseat the Baltimore Ravens as the best rushing attack in the league. It would be a clinic of old school football — play great defense and run the ball down your opponents’ throats.
Gordon is one of the most talented backs in the league, and he deserves to be paid like one. He also deserves to be the feature back on a playoff team. The Bills would be the perfect match.