Why Melvin Gordon May Not Show Up to Chargers' Training Camp

John Healy
July 11, 2019 - 11:24 am

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon wants a new contract. If he does not get one by the start of training camp on July 24, he will not report to the team and will demand a trade, his agent told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Gordon, 26, is entering the final season of his current deal — a fifth-year option worth $5.6 million.

His agent told Schefter that Gordon prefers not to holdout, or demand a trade, but he is unhappy with where negotiations stand.

It is likely that Gordon, a two-time Pro Bowler, wants to be paid like a top-tier running back in the NFL. Gordon is coming off a season in which he averaged 5.1 yards per carry and scored 14 touchdowns in just 12 games.

He has accumulated at least 1,300 yards from scrimmage in each of the last three seasons, but has rushed for more than 1,000 yards just once in his career (although he was on pace to exceed that limit last season if not for a knee injury).

Many teams around the NFL have been reluctant to pay running backs big money in recent years, and one that has may regret it this season.Rams running back Todd Gurley is the highest-paid player at the position, who signed a four-year, $57.5 million extension with $45 million guaranteed last summer, but he enters the season with questions lingering about a knee injury.

Le’Veon Bell held out all of last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers over a contract dispute and ultimately signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets that included $27 million in guarantees.

The Chargers’ backup running backs are Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome. The team went 4-0 last season when Gordon was out with a knee injury.