Melvin Gordon holdout lingers

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The Chargers and running back Melvin Gordon continue to be at an impasse, with no end in sight to the tailback’s holdout. But a window could be sliding open for a face-saving conclusion to the dispute.

“I’m disappointed it has lasted this long,” G.M. Tom Telesco recently said, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. “I pride myself in having solutions to problems, and I haven’t solved this one yet. We know what he means to our team, and even bigger than that what he means to our organization. But the other side is we have a big game coming up this week with the Colts, and I’m confident in the players that we have on the field right now will play well.”

A potential solution, short of a new long-term contract, could come in the form of dangling to Gordon a full waiver of the fine he has racked up during his holdout. Under the specific rules of the labor deal, Gordon’s status under the fifth-year option means that his daily fines were $30,000 (not $40,000). However, the Chargers also have the express ability under the rules applicable to the fifth-year option to fine Gordon the amount of a regular-season game check for each preseason game he missed.

At $5.605 million for the full season, that’s a weekly fine of $329,000 throughout the preseason. In all, he owes $1.31 million for skipping the four exhibition games, along with daily fines that will push the final amount due toward $2 million. So if the Chargers offer to wipe the slate clean if Gordon reports this week, he’ll avoid the fines and collect his weekly salary. Then, after the season, he’ll become a free agent — barring application of the franchise tag or the transition tag.

That may not be enough to get it done, but with the Chargers not budging and no one showing serious interest in trading for Gordon, his best play could be to do what former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew did in 2012: Surrender.

Because Gordon is so close to free agency, chances are he won’t stay away for more than six weeks of the regular season, in order to ensure that the final year of his contract is satisfied. But he’ll give up roughly $2 million in pay if he does that, and the fines will still be on the books.

So if the Chargers want to take a crack at ending the holdout before Week One without giving Gordon the long-term deal he wants, the best move could be to offer a full cancellation of the fines, along with a threat/promise to collect every penny if his holdout lasts into the regular season.

17 responses to “Melvin Gordon holdout lingers

  1. Solid plan, Mike. I get the feeling he needs a face-saving “in”. He horribly miscalculated his worth to the team and was left with no leverage.
    He seems like a nice kid. I hope it all works out for him.
    Waive the fines. . .play some ball.

  2. Are the Chargers conceding the division to the Chiefs? Last year the Chargers had to travel to Foxboro for a playoff game—that didn’t work out very well. Philip Rivers isn’t getting any younger. This would be a good year to challenge for the superbowl.

  3. The players’ union fought hard for this salary cap, and the owners are bound by the agreement. They simply aren’t allowed to go over the cap number. The only solution is to get all his teammates together and pass the hat around the room to see which of his teammates are willing to accept less money so that Gordon can make more. LeVeon Bell wasn’t able to convince his teammates to take home less money and it doesn’t appear, so far, that Gordon’s teammates are willing to pay his salary increase either. Maybe the players’ union should re-think the way they negotiate these agreements, or the players should seek better leadership for their union. Running backs have much shorter careers than most other positions, so they’re almost old men by the time their initial contract is up.

  4. There’s about a 0 percent chance that would get Gordon in. Id love to see the numbers but it seems players who hold out, if their fined, rarely if ever are actually fined. It seems nearly every time the funds get waived so this is more expected than enticing for Gordon.

  5. I agree with this. Propose to waive the fee to come back and honor your contract through this season, then he’s free to play the free agent game all he wants. It’s only this year. It’s just not a good move for him right now. And until then, they should withhold his paychecks for sure. Compound loss of pay and the fees for missing time so far…if he and his agent can’t acknowledge how much this hurts, they deserve to be looking at all that personal damage, in the millions…wise up and play now, Mr Gordon, believe it or not it’ll only serve you more richly in the long run.

  6. ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz…. This guy has SERIOUSLY misunderstood his value. He should fire his agent and take a contract that reflects what he’s worth… based on the lack of interest in him from other teams, apparently he’s not worth all that much….

  7. He’s a good “rotational” back. Worth maybe $6 to $7 mil max. He’s not in playing shape now and won’t be for three to four weeks if he come in now. Not worth it. Check the waiver wire.

  8. Sure, waiving the fines is an option. But if I’m Gordon, I’m negotiating that as well. Tell them fine, don’t give me a long term deal but I want an increase in pay for this one year if you want me to show up. Or, I want to collect my entire salary for the year, but I’m not showing up until week 5 so I can save some wear and tear. Plenty of negotiation to be had even if Gordon is 100% not showing up under his current contract, and the team is 100% not giving him the long term deal he wants.

  9. Just let him sit out and move on. Also, don’t forgive the fines. If he sits out the first ten games he may owe the Chargers money. He’s not going to be there next year so why should they do anything to accommodate him? Besides, they have those other two guys who are going to be playing. Even when he does come back just make him the 3rd string back and continue to use the guys who will be there next year.

  10. jluckow says:
    August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am
    Sure, waiving the fines is an option. But if I’m Gordon, I’m negotiating that as well. Tell them fine, don’t give me a long term deal but I want an increase in pay for this one year if you want me to show up. Or, I want to collect my entire salary for the year, but I’m not showing up until week 5 so I can save some wear and tear. Plenty of negotiation to be had even if Gordon is 100% not showing up under his current contract, and the team is 100% not giving him the long term deal he wants.
    ————————————————

    I don’t think he even has enough leverage to do that. The Chargers barely care if he comes back or not. IF they offer to waive the fines. . . he needs to swallow some pride and strap on the pads.

  11. The Chargers are fine at RB and Gordon honestly isn’t a top tier player. He’s a good RB, and there are dozens just like him. Why he thinks he’s underpaid given his production is beyond reason. And to play hardball with one of the cheapest ownership groups in the entire league is just stupid.

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