With Tevin Coleman out, Melvin Gordon isn't the answer for the 49ers

Gordon alongside Garoppolo would be a dream, but this is reality

Tommy Call
September 10, 2019 - 8:15 pm

The last two seasons Kyle Shanahan has brought in a new ball carrier to the 49ers offense, but each season they’ve managed to be stalled by injuries. First Jerick McKinnon went down. Now, new running back Tevin Coleman is slated to miss time after suffering a high ankle sprain in the season opener. 

Listen to your team news NOW.

When injuries happen to core players like Coleman there’s a mad scramble to replace them. 

One popular idea is trading for disgruntled Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon. Remember, during Gordon’s holdout, he followed the 49ers (and Raiders) on Instagram, which is ever important in modern football. An easy win-win situation right? Wrong.

A talent like Gordon standing next to Jimmy Garoppolo in Shanahan's offense sounds like something out of a football dream, but in reality, it's time to wake up, the 49ers do not need the two-time pro bowler.  

First, what the 49ers would have to give up for Gordon would be way too steep for a team that still needs to build through the draft. Initial reports rumored the Chargers wanted a first-round pick for Gordon. Strike one. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I&#39;m told exploratory trade parameters have included the <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chargers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chargers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chargers</a> probing for a 2020, 1st round pick, or a 2020 5th &amp; a 2021 1st-rounder to deal RB Melvin Gordon, per source.</p>&mdash; ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/JosinaAnderson/status/1169066180105179138?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/JosinaAnderson/status/1169066180105179138?ref_src=tw...">September 4, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js">https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Even if general manager John Lynch can talk Chargers GM Tom Telasco into a low-ball deal for Gordon, it will still cost an asset the 49ers can’t afford to lose. Paying a mid-round pick for Gordon with his contract situation would still be rich for Lynch. The 49ers aren’t just one player away. They can’t risk mortgaging their future on a luxury like Gordon. 

Next comes the financial impact of acquiring Gordon. The whole point of Gordon’s holdout is the fact that wants to be one of the highest-paid backs in the NFL. The 49ers would have to a shell out a top-contract for Gordon’s services and they simply can’t afford that. 

The 49ers have already allocated a large percent of the cap towards the backfield. Bringing in McKinnon and Coleman cost a pretty penny, and that doesn’t even factor in Kyle Juszczyk. It may sound harsh, but the truth is paying veteran running backs top-dollar is a thing of the past. It’s a passing league and all future funds need to be sent in the direction to build around Garoppolo. Strike two. 

The name of this pay-off pitch isn’t a curveball or a changeup, its name is Matt Breida. The biggest reason there’s absolutely no need to add Gordon is Breida. 

Breida flashed workhorse ability last season at the 49ers featured back. Breida split carries with Coleman all training camp and can step in with little fallback. 

Coleman is a better pass-catching back, but Breida has shown improvement in that area through the preseason. That’s why you pay a premium on an offensive coach like Shanahan. Like almost every running back, Shanahan has coached, Brieda has experienced a burst of success in his backfield. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">20-yard TD for #22! <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/JimmyG_10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/JimmyG_10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JimmyG_10</a> finds <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/MattBreida?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/MattBreida?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattBreida</a> in the back of the end zone to tie it up. <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SFvsKC</a> <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://t.co/t38ik5e98v">https://t.co/t38ik5e98v">pic.twitter.com/t38ik5e98v</a></p>&mdash; San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) <a href="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/49ers/status/1165422455105576962?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/49ers/status/1165422455105576962?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://957thegame.radio.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js">https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Between Shanahan’s ability to coach up running backs, and Breida’s pure skill for the position there’s simply no need for Gordon in Santa Clara. Stike three. 

Losing Coleman for some time doesn’t even take too much of a hit to the 49ers rushing depth. Raheem Mostert filled in nicely next to Breida vs. Tampa Bay. Mostert averaged 4.4 yards per carry on Sunday and led the 49ers in rushing yards. Mostert finished every run with a pop, punishing defenders who tried tackling him. 

With Breida and Mostert in house and fan favorite/practice squader Jeff Wilson Jr. on call, the Niners have no need to make a splash for Gordon.

Comments ()