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Melvin Gordon: 'No One Cared That Melvin Gordon Was Out. It Was All About Zeke'

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 4, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Melvin Gordon #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Melvin Gordon III has a little extra spring in his step now that he's with the Los Angeles Chargers following a lengthy holdout.

"I'm definitely motivated," Gordon, who rejoined the team last Thursday, told Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register on Friday. "No one cared that Melvin Gordon was out. It was all about Zeke. And it ain't no hate. That's America's team, but some players on talk shows they care less to talk about it.

"You got people in your corner, and they in your corner one second, and the next second they're hating on you. You got a lot of people hating on you. The best way to do that is to go shut them up. I remember what everybody said."

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott held out before signing a six-year, $90 million extension days before the regular season began.

The method did not work as fruitfully for Gordon, who ended his 64-day holdout without a new deal.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Cost of a holdout: Melvin Gordon will be subject to $1.2 million worth of fines while losing out on $989,118 worth of base salary for the first three games. Gordon still earn $4,615,882 of base salary for the rest of this season. He will be a free agent, with plans to move on.

The day before Gordon returned, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported he "expects this to be his last season" with the Chargers, who granted Gordon permission to seek a trade in late August.

The 2015 first-rounder had rejected a reported extension offer that would have paid him approximately $10 million annually.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Sept. 1 that negotiations would not continue until after the season. Gordon is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

The 26-year-old was active for L.A.'s 30-10 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but he did not play a snap. The two-time Pro Bowler has 3,628 yards and 28 touchdowns on 897 attempts across 55 career games. He had 885 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018.

Elliott aside, Gordon may be additionally motivated by the emergence of Austin Ekeler. In Gordon's absence, Ekeler became the team's primary back. The 24-year-old leads the Chargers with 220 yards and three touchdowns on 56 carries.

"We have a plan for Melvin," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters Friday. "I don't want to put him in there and play him too much. And I really don't have to. I like what Austin Ekeler has been doing in the backfield. ... Whenever [Gordon is] ready to go, he will be the No. 1 guy and get the bulk of the snaps. But obviously he's not there right now."

The 2-2 Chargers will face the 0-4 Denver Broncos on Sunday, and Gordon is expected to play.

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