Chargers' Melvin Gordon Says He'll Play 'Somewhere' Amid Contract Holdout

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2019

FILE - In this  Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018 file photo, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Denver. Gordon is going into the final year of his contract. The fifth-year running back said after practice that he didn’t want to miss any practices but also didn’t rule out not being here when the team conducts its first training camp practice, Tuesday, June 11, 2019 . (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon continues to hold out with the hope of landing a new contract that will make him one of the highest-paid players at his position in the league, but he insisted fans will see him take the field during the 2019 campaign.

Eric D. Williams of ESPN noted the Wisconsin product said he is "going to play somewhere" this year during a Tuesday video chat on Instagram. He went on to say not playing "would be a waste of talent."

Williams summarized the situation, pointing out Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said there would be no contract negotiations until following the season after Gordon didn't accept an offer that would have paid him approximately $10 million a year.

The team did give the running back permission to pursue a trade, but the announcement there would be no contract negotiations means he will play under his current deal that pays him $5.605 million this year should he report to the Chargers.

Los Angeles is 1-1 without him but managed just 10 points in a Week 2 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Gordon undoubtedly could have helped the offense in the opening two games considering he is a two-time Pro Bowler who ran for 1,105 yards in 2017 and posted 885 rushing yards, 490 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns in 12 games last season.

Yet, he has lost some of his leverage in any contract talks with the Chargers given how effective Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson have been in his place. Ekeler tallied 163 receiving yards, 124 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in the first two games, and Jackson is averaging 8.9 yards per carry in limited work.

Williams noted Gordon has to report by Nov. 29 barring a trade if he plans on playing this year because the NFL says players on the Reserve/Did Not Report List cannot be reinstated in the final 30 days of the regular season.

Reporting by then would also allow him to earn credit for the season and create a situation where he could be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, although Los Angeles could use the franchise tag on him.