Girl: Run first, fall short, and protect stubborn young Drew Lock from his most destructive gunfighter tendencies. That’s the formula for Broncos success. I wait patiently for a thank you note and a check for $ 50,000 for counseling costs from offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. In the meantime, may I ask you something on behalf of Broncos Country: Why do John Elway and his staff love Melvin Gordon more than Phillip Lindsay?
O’Halloran: After watching Lindsay’s first two years, Elway knew he had to buy a co-No. 1 running back better at home in third place as receiver and pass protector. Shurmur clearly trusts Gordon (and even Royce Freeman) more than Lindsay on the third-down plays and the rush-up attack. That’s why Gordon played more than Lindsay when the Broncos consistently lagged behind. In the last three games, Gordon has played 42 more snaps than Lindsay.
Girl: While I haven’t had any scientific research done, my guess is that the most popular current Bronco is Lindsay, a substandard local guy who was fine. So I understand why there is more love for Lindsay in the beeps than within the walls of Broncos headquarters. While it’s an irresistible story, Lindsay isn’t a full back. But at least he doesn’t fumble. And Gordon should kiss teammate Justin Simmons for coming up with an interception that prevented his late fumble from Denver making the NFL’s best 3-7 team.
O’Halloran: As Gordon said after the game when I asked his reaction when Simmons got Ryan Fitzpatrick with 1:03 left: “I’m happy, heck.” He should have been happy … and relieved. Gordon has lost four fumbles in nine games this year; Lindsay hasn’t lost any clumsiness in 38 career games. But back to the division of labor. I cracked the numbers for the four games Lindsay / Gordon ran together and was not injured. Gordon – 154 snaps, 40 carries-174 yards, seven catches-30 yards; Lindsay – 105 snaps, 34 carries-190 yards, one catch-three yards. The carry count indicates that Lindsay’s workload is close to Gordon.
Girl: The win against Miami proved that Gordon and Lindsay have a way of working together effectively. But here’s what I’m not so sure about: When Elway showed Gordon the love (i.e. money), how much damage was done to the relationship with Lindsay? If he wants to be 1,000 yards back, Lindsay will probably have to find a new team that believes more in his skills than Elway. How much financial effort will the Broncos go to to keep Lindsay? And should we expect him to wear No. 30 for the Broncos next year?
O’Halloran: I expect Lindsay to be here next year. Gordon has a salary cap of $ 9 million by 2021 and they will save only $ 2.5 million by cutting him back. Lindsay is a limited free agent. The Broncos have options – 1. Sign it by an extension; 2. enroll him at a first, second or undeveloped level; 3. Let him run. According to Over The Cap, the projected RFA tenders for 2021 are $ 4,873 million (first round), $ 3,422 million (second) and $ 2,240 million (original draft status, which is not prepared for Lindsay). If the Broncos tender Lindsay on a second round level, a team would have to give up their second rounder to sign him. (Besides, it wouldn’t be a huge financial obligation for Elway.) Is there a good chance that a team will sign Lindsay for a quote sheet? It is not common for the tender to be a choice in the first two rounds. Lindsay’s best way is to keep playing big series until he gets a multi-year event offered by the Broncos or finds a new home in 2022.