For most of the players who will hold out from training camp despite being under contract, the cost (if enforced by the team) becomes $40,000 per day in fines. For Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that Gordon will rack up daily fines of only $30,000. The bad news is that each preseason game he misses potentially will cost him a regular-season game check.
Article 7, Section 7(g) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement says this: “[A]ny unexcused late reporting to or absence from preseason training camp by a player in the fifth League Year of his contract (the option year) shall subject the player to a fine of $30,000 per day, plus one week’s regular season salary for each preseason game missed.”
At a base salary of $5.605 million in 2019, the Chargers will be able to find Gordon $329,705 for each preseason game he misses.
That didn’t stop former Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald from skipping all of the preseason last year under the same circumstances. But they’re Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald, and they’re good enough relative to others who play their positions to make that power play.
For Gordon, it may not work. And it may get extremely expensive.