DENVER — Facing potential discipline from the NFL, Broncos starting running back Melvin Gordon entered a not guilty plea in his DUI case in virtual court Thursday.
A disposition was set for Feb. 24 with a pre-trial scheduled for April 2 and a jury trial on April 8. There could be resolution before a trial.
Gordon was charged with a DUI and speeding 71 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone on Oct. 14. Gordon could be suspended by the league for three games depending on the outcome of the case. The NFL typically waits until the issue is resolved in court before deciding on discipline.
Gordon initially appeared virtually in court on Dec. 14 and the trial was continued until Thursday. As such, Gordon played out the remainder of the season with the Broncos. Buoyed by a strong second half, Gordon paced the Broncos with 215 rushing attempts for 986 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games (he missed the New England game with a sore throat because he was not allowed to travel, per COVID-19 protocols).
Gordon, who turns 28 in April, signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Broncos last spring with $13.5 million guaranteed. The former Pro Bowler is due $9 million in 2021, prompting speculation that the Broncos might try to rework the guaranteed money in his contract.
John Elway signed Gordon, but stepped away as general manager 10 days ago. On Wednesday, the Broncos hired George Paton as their new GM, and he will have final say on roster decisions. While Gordon was criticized for his slow start and taking away carries from Phillip Lindsay, the former Wisconsin star found traction over the final seven games. He finished with two 100-yard games, and caught 32 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown.
Two weeks after his arrest, Gordon apologized during a Zoom presser with the local media.
"I am sorry I was even in the situation. I don't want people to feel like 'Oh, because Melvin didn't say anything or he didn't speak on it, he just don't care, he's not apologetic about the situation.' That's not the case at all. Obviously, I try to do my best to walk a straight line and lead by example, things like that. I'm a little upset I even put myself in that situation.
"I had a hard time just dealing with it myself, like I said, never been in trouble before. ... To the people of Denver and everyone, I don't want anyone to feel like I just don't care, like 'Oh he got his money, he don't care.' I do (care), I do. I'm not happy I was in the situation.