On Thursday, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Los Angeles Chargers running back, Melvin Gordon, notified the team that if he does not receive a new deal by the start of training camp, then he will sit out from camp and demand a trade. With around two weeks until camp, the Chargers have a short deadline to agree to terms with their lead back.
Los Angeles running back Melvin Gordon has informed the Chargers that unless he receives a new contract, he will not report to training camp and he will demand a trade, his agent Fletcher Smith told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 11, 2019
Gordon is currently entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and is due $5.6 million dollars for the 2019-20 season. Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Dentrez Newsome, Troymaine Pope, and rookie Jeremy Cox currently sit behind Gordon on the depth chart.
In only 12 games for the Chargers in 2018, Gordon pushed for 885 rush yards on 175 attempts, good enough to land him seventeenth best in the league. He also finished with 10 touchdowns, finishing sixth in the league and earning him a pro-bowl nod.
It has been reported that Gordon desires a contract similar to other top running backs such as Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley or New York Jets back Le’Veon Bell. Gurley, who was taken in the same 2015 draft class as Gordon, received a four-year $57.5 million dollar extension from the Rams and Bell recently received a four-year $52.5 million dollar deal from the Jets.
Depending on their free agent strategy in 2020, an extension for Gordon may give the Chargers minimal cap space but would not be detrimental to the cap in 2021 onward. Currently, the Chargers have $39 million dollars in cap space for 2020 and a Gurley-sized extension for Gordon would put their budget at about $24 million dollars.
The clock is ticking for the Chargers, it will be interesting to see how their staff handles the situation.