AFC

Melvin Gordon and Chargers at a stalemate

Melvin Gordon

The Los Angeles Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon will not come to a deal before the start of training camp, which means it will be a lengthy holdout could be on the horizon. Los Angeles shut down negotiations with the veteran running back and will not pursue a new deal until the offseason, thus causing a holdout by Gordon according to NFL insider Adam Schefter:

Gordon 26, is seeking a new deal in place of the final year of his rookie deal which will pay him $5.6 million, far from the dollar amount he’s seeking in return. Gordon has been in the top 10 of all major rushing categories since he was taken by the Chargers back in 2015. Gordon has run for 3,628 and scored 28 touchdowns, while also catching 182 passes for another for 1,577 yards and 10 scores. These numbers make Gordon feel he deserves to be paid like he should be paid as a top runner in the league. He was offered a new deal by the Chargers which he felt was “disrespectful” and was turned down immediately. The deal was said to be in the $9-$10 range and Gordon may be looking for a deal upwards of $12-$14 million a year. It may be in the ballpark of Le’Veon Bell’s new deal which pays him nearly $14 million a season (4-year/$52.5 million).

Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon could be fined up to $40,000 each day he doesn’t report to camp, unlike Le’Veon Bell who was not under contract at the time of his holdout. Gordon must report by Week 10 and be activated if he wants to play in 2019. He is training down in Florida despite his current contract situation. The Chargers still hold all the leverage in the dispute, because if he holds out for the entire season the team can still franchise him in 2020.

His Chargers teammates support him during his decision, but how long will they stand behind him knowing they are an 18-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl. They are also a favorite to challenge the Patriots and Chiefs for the AFC crown. Los Angeles will have two other running backs vying for the starting position of Gordon’s holdout is lengthy. Austin Ekeler who is in his third season has 814 career rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Justin Jackson who the team is high on has 50 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns.

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