Melvin Gordon needs a new contract. The Los Angeles Chargers running back is planning to hold out and demand a trade if he does not get one soon.
Gordon advised the Chargers that unless he receives a contract, he will require a trade and won’t report to training camp, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
ESPN first reported the information.
Chargers experts report to training camp on July 24.
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Gordon would be subject to fines of around $40,000 for every day missed if he does not report, per the collective bargaining agreement.
Damarius Bilbo, one of the agents who repetitions Gordon, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that the running is serious about holding out.
“He’s very serious,” Bilbo said. “He’s worked his butt off and the fifth-year alternative is a result of where he had been drafted. It’s exactly what it is. But if we’d gotten a respectable deal, we wouldn’t be here. However he felt disrespected. He is very serious.”
Gordon is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, set to make $5.6 million. He needs the safety which comes with guaranteed cash on a long-term thing. His 2019 salary is the 11th highest among running backs for this season. The 26-year-old likely looks at the record and sees a great deal of springs used significantly less than himself and who are not as critical to a team’s offensive performance getting paid more.
“We received an offer — discussions had been dead — but we received an offer which was not a fair deal based on which Melvin has done, at which he was drafted, and the way he’s performed, making two of those past four Pro Bowls,” Bilbo said. “It was disrespectful.”
The Chargers told NFL Media that they don’t have any comment on the matter.
The do-it-all back has been a keystone piece of the Chargers crime since his second year in the league, compiling over 1,300 scrimmage yards each of the past 3 seasons, together with 38 total touchdowns. Gordon proved his worth to the L.A. offense last season while handling knee problems. The Chargers offense wasn’t exactly the same without the bruising back in full threat-level.
The 2015 first-round pick skipped most of the offseason workouts, but attended mandatory minicamp in June, where he explained”I do not understand,” when asked if he would hold out of training camp with no new contract.
It’s conceivable a holdout could extend to the regular season.
“We will cross that bridge once we get there,” Bilbo told Rapoport when asked if he’d sit out regular-season games. “If Melvin isn’t paid fairly, he will want to be traded.”
It’s possible the situation across town using Todd Gurley’s knee can give the Chargers pause to cover Gordon. The Rams handed Gurley a heap of cash and now are dealing with a back that could have chronic knee difficulties. Given Gordon’s accident history, the Chargers could be reticent to hand back a slew of guarantees.
Gordon addressed these concerns throughout June minicamp:
“It’s an issue with everyone else,” Gordon explained. “However, I know my worth. I know what I bring to the team, and I am sticking with this. Todd’s paid, therefore Todd don’t care what anyone says — him or David Johnson — they can say what they would like to say. They signed the dotted line.
“But sadly I have not yet, so I have to take the heat for some of the things that they’re going through. But I am not them, and like I said, I know my worth ”
The dual-threat back knows his worth. He is willing to hold out and demand a trade to someone who will compensate him as such, if the Chargers will not.
Not having Gordon are a huge setback to the L.A. crime, one that looks poised to compete for a deep playoff run. But paying running backs in 2019 can be a precarious proposition for NFL teams.
Gordon’s only leverage to have the deal he needs is to withhold his services. The running back is preparing to do so.
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