Dolphins should not pony up for Melvin Gordon

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins need to address the league’s worst rushing attack from last season, but Melvin Gordon is not the answer.

The Miami Dolphins had the league’s worst rushing attack last season (72.3 yards per game), so it makes sense they’ll be in the market for a running back in free agency. On that note, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, the Dolphins are expected to have interest in Melvin Gordon “at the right price”.

In an ill-fated stance to get a contract extension from the Chargers, Gordon held out until Week 5 last season. He wound up averaging 3.8 yards per carry over 12 games, and if not for a solid five-game stretch where he averaged 4.7 yards per tote it would have been worse. All Gordon really accomplished with his hold out was saving some wear-and-tear on his body.

Spotrac’s current contract projection for Gordon is four-years, $33.279 million ($8.3 average annual value). The Chargers reportedly offered him an extension in the $10 million per year range, and even with the length of the offer unclear it only shows further how foolish his holdout was.

When the new league year dawns, the Dolphins will have the most cap space in the NFL (nearly $95 million, according to Spotrac). So they can be aggressive in free agency, and get to what Gordon’s asking price will surely be. Whether that’s in line with his projected market value or not is a different question.

Wolfe also pointed to Jordan Howard, Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller as free agent running backs on Miami’s radar. All three should come at a lower cost than Gordon, on a shorter deal.

Head coach Brian Flores offered some insight into how the Dolphins will approach free agency.

“Everyone thinks we’ve got all of this money to spend and blow. We’re going to be judicious and responsible with our salary cap,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “It’s not, ‘We’ve got $100 million and we’re going to spend all of it.’ That’s just not how it works.”

Miami has multiple holes to fill on both sides of the ball, as they take the next step in the second year under Flores. So paying what will surely be top-end of the market money for the next four seasons to a running back who will turn 27 in April is not a prudent move, and Flores’ comments show he agrees.

Gordon should get a decent contract in free agency. It’s just isn’t very likely to feature a Miami Dolphins’ letterhead.

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