Melvin Gordon hopes to buck trend of “devalued” running backs

Getty Images

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who is making noises about holding out into the start of the season if he doesn’t get a new contract, is well aware that he plays a position whose value has declined.

Gordon said in June that running backs are not valued in the NFL the way they used to be.

“We’re definitely devalued. We definitely are. That’s just kind of how we’re looked upon in the league right now,” Gordon said.

The problem Gordon faces is that the most valuable running backs — at least in terms of their contracts — have actually proven to be easily replaceable with much cheaper options. Le'Veon Bell sits out the season and James Conner fills in just fine. Todd Gurley gets hurt and C.J. Anderson comes in off the street and doesn’t miss a beat.

And on the Chargers, Austin Ekeler has proven himself capable of filling in for Gordon — and Ekeler makes the league minimum. The Chargers may decide that Gordon is no more valuable than his $5.6 million salary, and that they’re not paying him a penny more.

28 responses to “Melvin Gordon hopes to buck trend of “devalued” running backs

  1. In what world is 5.6 million per year not good money? Wake the hell up young man before you lose your job!

  2. Well, you’re not the guy to do it, I can tell you that. See, this is a tell tale sign his ego has taken over and you just need to deal him out for any kind of a pick. Get like 3-4 teams involved and take even a 4th rder for him and run.

  3. Has the game swung so much in the favor of offense and the passing game that scheme trumps talent at the RB position? Who are the truly special backs currently in the NFL that could warrant breaking the salary ceiling for? I previously thought Bell qualified, but as pointed out, James Conner filled in fine. Barkley? Elliot? Kamara? It has to be one of the handful of backs that can put up elite RB numbers along with WR2 production.

  4. Spanos won’t pay him. Spanos hasn’t even given a new contrat to Philip Rivers. Spanos’s “relocation” has been a financial bust for the LA Chargers.

  5. These things are cyclical. The real news is that there are plenty of gm’s that are missing on elite rb’s only to find them by dumb luck as udfa’s and then we call them as geniuses. How the number 10 rated rb in college does not get drafted is ridiculous (Phillip Lindsay). You have to ask yourself how many gm’s would have drafted him if they had any idea of the kind of production he was capable of, but looked down on him due to his size. That is not genius, that’s called not doing your homework. When an udfa wr turns out to be really good, we ask the question, how come he wasn’t drafted. We don’t say wr’s are a dime a dozen even though it happens all the time. NE has made a living on finding them.

  6. IMO, there are very few positions in the NFL that require a team to break the bank. Just talking about offense, QB definitely is one of those positions. RB and WR (and others) no way would I jeopardize the teams future by overpaying. I’m not saying offer chump change, but what some of these guys want is just over the top. You can’t chase some of these guys, because they are always going to want more. Case in point, AB, the entire thing was about the $$, he had gotten all the guarantees that he was going to get from the Steelers, and found a way to squeeze more money out of another team, leaving the Steelers on the hook for millions. You can mark it down, that little stunt will be addressed at the next CBA.

  7. I don’t think that RBs are necessarily undervalued, but they make their biggest impact during the first 4-5 years they are in the league in most cases. They are pinned in by the rookie deals and by the time they are FAs they often have injury issues, or they aren’t quite as explosive. Rookie wage scale killed RB salaries.

  8. I get the feeling Melvin Sr. is in his ear. If you think Dean Spanos is going to re-negotiate, you are in for a long wait. TT has a keen eye for talent, he’ll find someone by opening week. Make your own decision Melvin Jr.

  9. vikingsvoice says:
    July 12, 2019 at 9:39 am
    Has the game swung so much in the favor of offense and the passing game that scheme trumps talent at the RB position? Who are the truly special backs currently in the NFL that could warrant breaking the salary ceiling for? I previously thought Bell qualified, but as pointed out, James Conner filled in fine. Barkley? Elliot? Kamara? It has to be one of the handful of backs that can put up elite RB numbers along with WR2 production.

    8 1 Rate This

    ———————

    James White is the best scatback in the league and the best pass catching back, while able to run between the Tackles. Kamara has certainly been impressive as well, but when it comes to clutch plays and whatever else, White is actually more valuable than his former Wisconsin teammmate, Melvin Gordon.

    The guy was arguably the MVP of SB 51, has played in 3 of em, has 2 rings and was instrumental in the first half vs KC in the title game, not to mention, he took on a lot of carries when Michel missed some time early last year with Jeremy Hill also down.

    In a nutshell, give me 11 James Whites over 11 Melvin Gordons.

  10. Part of the reason RBs are easy to replace is because what they do isn’t as complicated. A good QB needs to be smart. WRs have a number of complex routes and lingo to know. RBs require some of those things but not nearly to the same extent. They’re generalists where you can stick a good athlete in the position and he can probably excel.

    Gordon is not going about this in a smart way.

  11. TheDPR says:
    July 12, 2019 at 10:30 am
    Part of the reason RBs are easy to replace is because what they do isn’t as complicated. A good QB needs to be smart. WRs have a number of complex routes and lingo to know. RBs require some of those things but not nearly to the same extent. They’re generalists where you can stick a good athlete in the position and he can probably excel.

    Gordon is not going about this in a smart way.

    1 0 Rate This

    —————————

    Well, you need a guy who is smart and cares about blocking well, which is not really what most primadonna RBs want to do. If you have a QB at 25 mil per standing in the pocket, your RB better be smart and better be able to know who to pick up properly vs certain schemes or blitzes.

    You won’t sniff the field in NE if this prerequisite isn’t met by an RB for Belichick.

    There are some RBs that wouldn’t even pass the sniff test to play in NE for this very reason. Ivan Fears is probably the best RB coach in the league like Scarnecchia as the OL coach is, where the fundamentals come first.

    Melvin Gordon is not that kind of an RB. He’s an above average RB, and not worth more than what he is being paid this year under his rookie deal.

    SD trading up for him was even a dumb move. You don’t trade up for RBs.

  12. That money would be better spent directed toward the O-line… Those are the guys who have the greatest influence on running game stats.

    It continues to surprise me to no end that teams spend so much on the RB position. This is coming from a Bills fan, who has Shady up there near the top of the pay scale for the past few years. It’s just not necessary. Even when the Bills led the league in run yards a few years back, every backup running back they put into the game ended up with amazing stats. It was mostly due to Richie Incognito at the time, surrounded by a few slightly above-average O-line men around him.

    RBs are a “dime a dozen” (and what an appropriate cliche that is)!

  13. “Spanos’s “relocation” has been a financial bust for the LA Chargers.”

    =========================================

    As an LA resident, I couldn’t be happier. This couldn’t happen to a more deserving owner. We in LA didn’t want the Chargers, who belong in San Diego. Spanos is that obnoxious and disgraced rich guy who just moves into your neighborhood and there’s nothing you can do about it.

  14. Gordon doesn’t show out in the big games and is hurt a LOT. He is not being “devalued” – rather, the Chargers are showing him his real value.
    He is NOT as good as Bell, Gurley, Kamara, Zeke or even Kareem Hunt.

  15. They are better w/ him than w/o. Rivers probably has another good year or two. He had 1375 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns btw! He’s earned it!

  16. Can anyone name a RB who was a stud behind an Oline that couldn’t run block? Those are the ones you pay. As well as the RB with elite WR skills mentioned above.
    But Eckler, Conner and Samuels as well as a long history of RB’s in NE that it’s the OLine that needs to be paid to their value.

  17. Gordon has had 1000yrs rushing one year out of his 4 NFL yrs, he DOESN’T DESERVE IT! Make him play out his 5th year option and then ship him!

  18. First, Gordon should be happy to get the $5M+ he’s scheduled to make this year. Secondly, did he not pay attention to Le’Veon Bell last year? I’m sure Bell thought he was going to get a $100M guaranteed contract. The total value of his contract was $52.5M. News flash–Melvin Gordon is no Le’Veon Bell, unless they are comparing Wonderlic scores.

    In fact, with Gordon taking this stance, he could find out nobody wants to trade for him and he’ll get cut. Then good luck getting $5M per year from some club who knows you’ll just holdout the next year. Nothing like having a disgruntled, overpaid, diva RB on your team. I’ll pass.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.