Chargers running back Melvin Gordon wants the team to know he means business about demanding a new contract.
Gordon’s agent, Damarius Bilbo, told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that there is a “strong possibility” Gordon could sit out into the regular season if the Chargers don’t give him the money he wants.
“But we want to focus on getting something done before training camp. There’s a long way to go to Week 1,” Bilbo added.
If Gordon sits out in the regular season, he loses about $330,000 a week, which is one-seventeenth of his $5.6 million salary.
But there’s an even bigger risk than losing $330,000 a week, which is the possibility that Gordon will show, in his absence, that he’s actually not all that important to the Chargers’ offense. Gordon’s backup, Austin Ekeler, has shown himself more than capable of filling the running back role in the Chargers’ offense, and Ekeler is set to make just $645,000 this year. If Gordon sits out Week One and Ekeler has a big game, the Chargers may conclude that there’s no reason to re-do Gordon’s contract when they have a perfectly good replacement working for one-ninth as much money.
Last year Gordon missed four games, and the Chargers went 4-0 in those four games. If Gordon thinks he can force the Chargers’ hand by sitting out until they give him a raise, he may find that a month into the season the Chargers are 4-0 and content to go on without him.