Veteran running back Melvin Gordon, one of the stars of the 2022 Seattle Seahawks season, was waived by the Denver Broncos on Monday and has since cleared waivers to become a free agent.
Gordon has helped the Seahawks’ draft stock tremendously by repeatedly fumbling in critical situations, most notably at the goal line against Seattle on opening night and then near the goal line in last Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Melvin has fumbled five times in just 115 touches and also has three drops as a pass target. Fumble number five was too much for Denver to tolerate and they chose to part ways.
There has been some chatter among Seahawks fans online about the possibility of bringing Gordon in as an insurance back, with the hope that the coaching staff can fix his ball security issues. Evidently Seattle has sniffed around for more RB depth, having put in an unsuccessful waiver claim for recently released ex-Cardinal Eno Benjamin.
At the risk of sounding foolish: No.
Here’s two minutes worth of reason not to sign Melvin Gordon.
Every Melvin Gordon fumble as a member of the Denver Broncos— Michael (@Bronco_Hater) November 21, 2022
Good riddance @Melvingordon25 pic.twitter.com/0dl5Q4jg5T
This is not a recent problem that’s surfaced out of nowhere; Gordon is a career fumbler without Adrian Peterson’s productivity. Since entering the NFL in 2015 he’s fumbled an astounding 26 times, which is more than any other running back in the league. He had just two fumbles from 2017-2018 but has racked up 16 over the past four seasons.
Gordon has spent over half of his career failing to crack four yards per attempt and this year his longest run in 2022 is 17 yards. He’s going to be 30 years old in a few months and given his inability to hang onto the ball he is not to be trusted even in small sample sizes.
Pete Carroll gave Chris Carson a lot of leeway when he had a brutal stretch of fumbles in 2019 but that proved to be the outlier on his career. Alex Collins did not get the same benefit of the doubt. Carroll has a low tolerance for turnovers and even lower when said player is not performing to a high standard. Whatever ails Gordon will not be fixed in a half-season and he has way more potential to hurt the team he’s on than help.
Beyond Kenneth Walker III, Seattle already has DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer on the roster, both of whom are more than capable of getting carries in this offense. If there are any injuries of note they have two running backs (Godwin Igwebuike and Darwin Thompson) on the practice squad, and there are probably other street free agents who can go a game without being a massive turnover risk. Besides, Seattle fumbles enough as is — tied for 2nd most lost fumbles with 8 — and it doesn’t need to add a chronic fumbler.
If the Seahawks do get another running back on the cheap for depth purposes, then so be it. There is no chance Gordon ends up on this roster nor should he.