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Melvin Gordon Officially Does Not Report to Chargers Camp Amid Contract Holdout

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Running back Melvin Gordon did not attend training camp Wednesday and was placed on the "did not report list" as he seeks a new contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the holdout will likely be "lengthy" since the Chargers plan to focus on the backs who are at camp rather than negotiate a new deal.

Gordon, who is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2019 at a salary of $5.6 million, will be subject to fines until he reports.

Per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, the 26-year-old said the following earlier this month:

"I want to end up with the Chargers. That's my home. I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'Man, I don't want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.' Like that's the team that blessed me with an opportunity. They started my life. They changed my life. Of all 32 teams, that was the team that called me. I can't forget them for that.

"But it's an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That's just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger. That's the goal. I want to end up with the Chargers."

If a deal doesn't get done, his agent, Fletcher Smith, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Gordon will request a trade.

Los Angeles Chargers @Chargers

MELVIN. GORDON. https://t.co/06SwxKRINr

Gordon is coming off arguably the best season of his career. In just 12 games, he rushed for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns on a career-best 5.1 yards per carry. He also caught 50 passes for 490 yards and four additional scores.

However, during his four-year career, Gordon has only played a full 16-game season once and registered one 1,000-yard rushing campaign, both in 2017. He had a yards-per-carry average under 4.0 in three of his four seasons and owns a career average of 4.0.

If the Chargers are without the two-time Pro Bowler when the 2019 season starts, they have some solid options. Austin Ekeler is chief among them, as he racked up 958 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns as Gordon's backup last season. Justin Jackson also showed flashes during his rookie campaign with 341 yards from scrimmage and two total touchdowns for a team that went 12-4 last season.

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