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Melvin Gordon Rumors: Chargers Won't Go over 'Certain Number' in Contract Talks

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJuly 26, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Carson, Calif. Gordon did not play due to an MCL sprain in his right knee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong )
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

It appears the Los Angeles Chargers will be without Melvin Gordon for the foreseeable future.

According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, the Chargers "are not willing to move off a certain number" in contract negotiations with their 26-year-old running back. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that Gordon had informed the team he will not report to training camp. 

"While the two sides exchanged proposals in recent days, there is mounting pessimism Chargers' holdout Melvin Gordon will be reporting anytime soon and his holdout threatens to go into the regular season, per sources," Schefter added earlier Friday. "Time to rely on Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Detrez Newsome."

Gordon is entering the final season of his five-year, $10.7 million rookie contract. Per Spotrac, the 2015 first-round pick is set to earn $5.6 million in base salary this season.

Schefter further writes Gordon is seeking a new contract "to put him among the highest-paid running backs in the league" and told L.A. he's willing to sit out and demand a trade if he doesn't receive a deal he deems adequate. 

Gordon's willingness to sit out into the regular season comes nearly a year removed from Le'Veon Bell holding out for the entire 2018-19 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers over contract disputes before signing with the New York Jets as a free agent on a four-year deal worth up to $52.5 million. 

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Bell is second behind Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley, who signed a four-year extension worth up to $60 million with $45 million guaranteed last summer, as the top paid players at the position based on total contract value.

As for Gordon's future with the Chargers, quarterback Philip Rivers gave the impression Friday at training camp that the team will continue on with business as usual. 

"It certainly is a deep position for us," Rivers said, according to the Los Angeles Times' Matt Szabo, "and those guys all love to play and work hard. We love Melvin, but we're going to go with what we've got. It's a pretty dang good group." 

Gordon dealt with a nagging knee injury last season after spraining his MCL on Nov. 25 against Arizona. The two-time Pro Bowler missed the following three games. When Gordon was unable to play, the Chargers used a combination of Ekeler and Jackson. 

Since entering the league in 2015, Gordon has rushed for 3,628 yards and 28 touchdowns on 897 carries.

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