The Los Angeles Chargers will enter 2019 with the hopes of returning to the playoffs and finally getting longtime quarterback Philip Rivers to the Promised Land. Unfortunately for the Bolts, that quest is already in danger of being derailed.
Thursday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has informed that the team that unless he receives a new deal, he won’t be reporting to training camp. Additionally, a lack of a new deal will result in him requesting a trade. This information was provided to Schefter by Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith.
Schefter’s report continues to explain that Smith and Gordon did not want to take this route toward getting a new deal done with the Chargers, but the lack of movement resulted in this maneuver.
As it turns out, Gordon informing the team of these intentions is a new development. Back in early June, the running back told reporters that he wanted to get a deal done, but it would not prevent him from showing up and putting in work. As he explained, there had been conversations with the team, but he wouldn’t go deeper into details.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a deal done,” Gordon said, according to ESPN’s Eric Williams. “But that’s not going to stop me from coming out here and doing what I need to do. We’re going to see. I would like to go out there and have it done. We’re talking right now, and that’s kind of where I’m going to leave it.”
Gordon is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is set to earn $5.6 million under the fifth-year option. Since entering the league as a first-round draft pick back in 2015, Gordon has dealt with injury concerns while missing nine regular-season games. However, he has also produced at an exceptional level for the Chargers.
In his career, Gordon has 38 total touchdowns to his name, trailing only Todd Gurley (45) for the most since the start of the 2016 regular season. Additionally, he has three consecutive seasons with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns. Gordon has been viewed as one of the league’s best running backs and was even listed among the top five by Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.
Unfortunately for Gordon, running backs have been devalued in recent years. Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, and David Johnson have all signed big-money deals, but they are a minute few in a crowded position group.
“It’s an issue with everybody else,” Gordon said. “But I know my value. I know what I bring to this team, and I’m sticking with that. Todd’s paid, so Todd don’t care what anybody says right now — him or David Johnson — they can say what they want to say. They signed the dotted line. But unfortunately, I haven’t yet, so I’ve got to take the heat for some of the stuff that they’re going through. But I’m not them, and like I said, I know my value.”
With the Chargers set to open training camp on July 24 in Costa Mesa, California, the two-time Pro Bowler is running out time to get a new deal done with the team. Will this new bit of news force the team’s hand, or will the Chargers enter the season without their top offensive weapon?