Melvin Gordon Rumors: Chargers RB Expected to Test Free-Agency Market

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (25) celebrates a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon are not expected to agree on a long-term contract before the beginning of free agency, allowing him to hit the open market.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Gordon is expected to test free agency. Gordon played the 2019 season under the franchise tag, holding out into the regular season before reporting to the team after missing four games. He rushed for 612 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 42 receptions for 296 yards and a score.

"I don't know, man," Gordon said in December when asked if he will return in 2020, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. "It's hard to look and say you warrant anything when you're losing. I just have to do my job. No one knows their situation. It's the business side of things. I don't know if I'll be here or somewhere else. Hopefully, it is here."

The Chargers appear to be preparing for a rebuild—or, at the very least, a significant retooling. Longtime quarterback Philip Rivers is parting ways with the organization in free agency, and it's unclear if the Chargers will look to sign a veteran or make a splash in April's draft. They are slated to have the No. 6 overall pick and could move up to take Tua Tagovailoa or stay in their current spot and select Justin Herbert or Jordan Love.

The Chargers also agreed to trade tackle Russell Okung to the Carolina Panthers for guard Trai Turner earlier this week. While that move was considered a major win for the Chargers, it'll leave them with a hole at left tackle they may need to fill in free agency.

Gordon shouldn't have a shortage of suitors, though it's unlikely he'll get the contract he was looking for a year ago in negotiations with the Chargers. In five NFL seasons, Gordon has only topped 1,000 rushing yards once; he's also only averaged more than four yards per carry in one season. The reality of his skill set is that he's much closer to the average NFL starting running back than a franchise-level ball-carrier. 

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