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Melvin Gordon wants a new contract. The Los Angeles Chargers running back is planning to hold out and demand a trade if he does not get one shortly.
Gordon informed the Chargers that unless he receives a new contract, he will demand a trade and will not report to training camp, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.
ESPN first reported the news.
Chargers veterans report to training camp on July 24.
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Gordon would be subject to fines of around $40,000 for each day missed if he fails to report, each the collective bargaining agreement.
Damarius Bilbo, among those agents who reps Gordon, told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport the running is seriously interested in holding out.
“He’s very serious,” Bilbo said. “He’s worked his butt off and the fifth-year option is a consequence of where he had been drafted. It is exactly what it is. But if we’d gotten a respectable offer, we would not be here. But he felt disrespected. He’s very serious.”
Gordon is entering the fifth and last year of his rookie contract, set to make $5.6 million. He needs the security that comes with guaranteed cash on a long-term thing. His 2019 salary is the 11th highest among running backs for this particular season. The 26-year-old probably looks at the record and sees a whole lot of springs used less than himself and that aren’t as vital to a team’s offensive operation getting paid more.
“We obtained an offer — talks were dead — but we obtained an offer that wasn’t a fair offer based on which Melvin has done, at which he was drafted, and how he’s done, making two of the past four Pro Bowls,” Bilbo said. “It was disrespectful.”
The Chargers told NFL Media they have no comment on the topic.
The do-it-all back has been a keystone piece of the Chargers offense since his second year in the league, compiling more than 1,300 scrimmage yards each of the previous 3 seasons, with 38 total touchdowns. Gordon proved his worth to the L.A. offense last season while handling knee problems. The Chargers offense wasn’t exactly the same with no bruising back at full threat-level.
The 2015 first-round pick skipped most of the offseason workouts, but attended mandatory minicamp in June, in which he explained”I don’t know,” when asked if he would hold out of training camp without a new contract.
It is conceivable a holdout could stretch into the regular season.
“We’ll cross that bridge once we get there,” Bilbo told Rapoport when asked if he would sit out regular-season games. “If Melvin is not paid rather, he will wish to get traded.”
It’s possible the situation across town using Todd Gurley’s knee could give the Chargers pause to pay Gordon. The Rams handed Gurley a pile of money and today are dealing with a back that might have chronic knee difficulties. Given Gordon’s injury history, the Chargers might be reticent to hand their back a ton of guarantees.
Gordon addressed those concerns throughout June minicamp:
“It is an issue with everybody else,” Gordon explained. “However, I know my worth. I know what I bring to this group, and I’m sticking with this. Todd’s paid, therefore Todd do not care what anybody says — him or David Johnson — they can say what they would like to say. They signed the dotted line.
“But sadly I haven’t yet, so I have to take the heat for some of the stuff they’re going through. But I’m not them, and like I said, I understand my value”
The dual-threat back knows his worth. He is prepared to carry out and demand a trade to somebody who will compensate him as such, if the Chargers won’t.
Not having Gordon would be a huge setback to the L.A. offense, one that looks poised to compete for a deep playoff run. But paying running backs in 2019 could be a precarious proposition for NFL teams.
Gordon’s sole leverage to get the deal he desires is to withhold his services. The running back is preparing to do so.

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