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.