Free agent Melvin Gordon is disappointed by the running-back market in the NFL.
“It’s just so tough for running backs right now,” Gordon recently said, according to USA Today’s Scooby Axson. “You have a lot of running backs that’s out there and we just don’t get no love. It’s literally the worst position to play in the NFL right now. It literally sucks.”
The running-back market has mostly been quiet around the NFL this offseason, with several high-profile RBs still unsigned, including Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, and Dalvin Cook, whom the Minnesota Vikings released on June 8.
Though two running backs – Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs – were drafted in the top 12 this year, the value of the RB position had taken a big hit in previous years. No running backs were selected in the first round in 2022, and the four Round 1 RBs selected from 2019-21 were all taken outside the top 20.
San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey leads all running backs with a $16-million average annual salary. Only four NFL positions have their highest-paid player earning less than that per year: kicker ($6 million), fullback ($5.4 million), punter ($3.68 million), and long snapper ($1.58 million).
Gordon, a first-round pick in 2015, appeared in 10 games for the Denver Broncos last year before being cut in November. He later joined the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad but didn’t play for them. The 30-year-old remains unsigned.
“I still want to play. I still got some tread left on the tires,” Gordon said. “(Chiefs) coach (Andy) Reid kind of sat me down and he told me, ‘You still can play.’ It’s about the right situation.”
He added: “It’s hard training knowing that you’re not gonna be on a team. It’s tough mentally. But I talked to some players that went through it and I’m just taking their advice, being a sponge, and it kind of helps you get through it.”
Gordon played his first five NFL seasons on the Los Angeles Chargers, earning Pro Bowl berths in 2016 and 2018. The Wisconsin product, who initially joined the Broncos in 2020, rushed for 318 yards (3.5 per carry) and two touchdowns and had fumble issues before being waived last season.
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