The running back may lose his guaranteed salary for this gaffe.
Athletes have a sort of evergreen unspoken contract with their teams: don’t do anything stupid and/or illegal, and you get paid the big bucks. Do something stupid/illegal, you lose the big bucks. It’s a pretty straightforward system, but sadly, athletes are only human, and humans have a pretty good track record of sticking their foot in things.
Melvin Gordon, running back for the Denver Broncos, was arrested yesterday for simultaneously driving 25-39 miles over the speed limit and doing so while intoxicated. Getting yourself arrested is a big no-no in the sports industry, which is why player contracts typically have dedicated sections for such an event. For his arrest, Gordon will be suspended from the team for three games, all three of which he’ll be required to forfeit his paychecks on in addition to a slice off of his signing bonus. That’s around $375,000 down the drain.
Depending on the whims of the Broncos’ owners, however, things could potentially get even worse for Gordon. According to the language of his player contract, Gordon’s guaranteed salary for his contract could be voided for next season. Prior to his arrest, Gordon was supposed to have a total salary of $4.5 million for the 2021 season. Now, though, that salary could be cut down to a dead cap hit of just $2 million from his prorated signing bonus (which is still an exorbitant amount of money, but certainly less).
While unfortunate for Gordon, this could prove to be a financial boon to the Broncos, as they’ve been looking for more salary breathing room to re-sign Phillip Lindsay, who intends to become a free agent in the spring. Speaking of Lindsay, he’ll be pulling Gordon’s weight while he’s on the bench and thinking about what he did.