Melvin Gordon's Agent Requested Trade When Chargers Didn't Change Contract Offer

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)
Jae Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon's agent Damarius Bilbo requested a trade last week when the Chargers did not change their contract offer.

According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Bilbo said the Chargers refused to offer more than $10 million per year. The team also declined to give Bilbo permission to seek trade partners.

Gordon is holding out of Chargers training camp as he is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2019.

The Chargers exercised the fifth-year option in Gordon's contract last year, meaning he is scheduled to make $5.605 million in 2019.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last month that Gordon would demand a trade and not report to camp if he did not receive a new contract.

The 26-year-old Gordon is coming off perhaps the best season of his career. Although he missed a career-high four games due to injury, Gordon still rushed for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns with a 5.1 yards-per-carry average, while catching 50 passes for 490 yards and four scores.

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While Gordon is a strong fit in L.A.'s offense, he comes with some risks as well. He has missed at least two games in three of his four NFL seasons, and he averaged 3.9 yards per carry or worse in each of his first three NFL campaigns as well.

Per Spotrac, an average annual salary of $10 million—which is what Bilbo said the Chargers are offering—would make Gordon the fourth-highest paid running back in the NFL on an annual basis behind only Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams, Le'Veon Bell of the New York Jets and David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals.

If the Chargers don't have a sense of urgency when it comes to Gordon, it may be because they have solid depth behind him.

Austin Ekeler will get the lion's share of the work if Gordon's holdout lasts into the regular season, and he is coming off a year that saw him rack up 958 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in a backup role.

Justin Jackson, who was taken in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft, showed flashes as a rookie with 341 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on just 65 touches.

After the Chargers went 12-4 and reached the playoffs last season, they figure to be one of the top contenders in the AFC in 2019 regardless of whether Gordon is in the fold.