Melvin Gordon Rumors: Chargers, RB Still Not Close on New Contract amid Holdout

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 15, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, left, hands off to running back Melvin Gordon in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the Los Angeles Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon "have not made progress towards a new deal."

Schefter also tweeted that "Gordon still wants to return in time for the regular season, but he is prepared to sit out if no new deal is reached."

Gordon has held out of the Chargers' training camp in hopes of landing a new deal as he enters the final year of his contract. The 26-year-old said he would like to stay in L.A. at a press conference recorded by NFL Network field producer Bobby Belt

However, Gordon's agent, Damarius Bilbo, told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Aug. 1 that he has requested a trade for his client because the Chargers have not budged off their $10 million-per-year offer.

With the team's season slated to begin Sept. 8, the clock is ticking for both sides to get a contract done before the Week 1 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

However, the Bolts do have reinforcements if the Pro Bowler sits out into the regular season, with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson slated to take over the backfield.

The 24-year-old Ekeler amassed 958 yards and six touchdowns last season, while the 24-year-old Jackson had 341 total yards and two scores.

Those two made up the Chargers backfield for four games last season as Gordon recovered from an MCL injury for three games and a hamstring injury for one. The team went 4-0 during that span.

Still, the ex-Wisconsin Badger has been productive in a Bolts uniform, gaining no fewer than 1,375 total yards and scoring no fewer than 12 touchdowns in any of his past three seasons. The former first-rounder is one of the NFL's better backs and has been a driving force toward the team improving from a 5-11 mark in 2016 to a 12-4 record last year.

Gordon's problem is that the $10 million-per-year offer isn't particularly close to other top backs' paychecks. According to Over the Cap, the Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley, the New York Jets' LeVeon Bell and the Arizona Cardinals' David Johnson all make $13 million or more per season.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported on July 27 that Gordon and the Bolts were $2 million to $3 million per year apart on a new contract. He also posited that a $12 million deal with incentives could "get it done."

As for now, Gordon is slated to make $5,605,000 this year if he plays.