With Melvin Gordon holding out, Chargers like their running back tandem

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Chargers coach Anthony Lynn doesn’t sound particularly worried about Melvin Gordon‘s holdout.

Lynn said he likes the 1-2 punch of Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson at running back and thinks they both bring plenty to the offense.

“I’ve always used those guys as a tandem,” Lynn said, via ESPN. “That’s not going to change. We’re going to put guys in good positions to do what they do best.”

Gordon is a former first-round pick holding out for more money than the $5.6 million base salary he’s set to make this season. Ekeler is a former undrafted free agent who makes $645,000 (the league minimum for a third-year player) while Jackson is a former seventh-round pick who makes $570,000 (the league minimum for a second-year player). If Ekeler and Jackson can fill in adequately for Gordon, while making far less money, it’s going to be awfully hard for Gordon to convince the Chargers to give him the contract he wants.

32 responses to “With Melvin Gordon holding out, Chargers like their running back tandem

  1. Gordon went about this all wrong and at some point he needs to question his agent. The Chargers are cheap and any fine’s he accrues by missing games will not be forgiven. I still would not give him a big deal but it’s almost guaranteed whenever he comes back, he will pull a hamstring and miss even more games.

  2. Mel-Gord overplayed a bad hand….half of NFL fans still say “San Diego” Chargers anyway. Like Sonny in Bronx Tale says-“Nobody Cares.”

  3. “Good RB, yes. Great RB, no. He’s not worth what he is asking”

    I may have missed it but I haven’t seen any reports of what he’s asking for, for him not to be worth that price.

  4. I don’t understand why anyone would take the Spanos’ side in this. The team is clearly better with him, the head coach said that yesterday and has said it before.

    Not surprising coming from the same owners that a) let their longtime PR guy sell his house and move up to LA, only to fire him the next year b) let their longtime equipment guy sell his house and move up to LA, only to fire him the next year c) refused to sign their first round draft pick over minor contractual language worth $100k-$200k for months before caving to save face d) screwed the fans over in SD pretty good e) allowed Stan Kroenke to absolutely eat their lunch so badly on that new stadium deal that it practically forced their hand to be his renter f) charges $100 for parking at a soccer stadium.

  5. Did sitting out work well for Le’Veon Bell who is a lot better than Gordon?
    He earned 0 and didn’t get what he wanted.
    Gordon can match that.

  6. I side with ownership 100%. Gordon has 2 years left on his deal, he needs to honor his contract.
    If he continues to hold out, he only loses money that he will never regain.
    When he is viewed by the NFL as a malcontent, and is a free agent, teams will be reluctant to sign him due to his self-inflated ego.
    Then when his is out of the NFL, he will WISH he has just played under his contract and earned his keep.

  7. dryzzt23 says:
    September 5, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I side with ownership 100%. Gordon has 2 years left on his deal, he needs to honor his contract.

    This is a tired argument. If ownership wants to cut a guy, they don’t need to honor the contract. So to say the opposite is true is obtuse.

    Gordon should hold out for more money, and his ownership wanted to pay him more money. The problem is that in the NFL every new contract has to set some sort of record. Gordon isn’t a top 3 RB and doesn’t deserve top 3 money. He is a to 10/15 running back and deserves to get a raise. It’s not that his timing was a problem. It’s that his agent is overestimating his worth (which is technically what an agent is meant to do, maximize contracts…)

    Something will give at some point. And if Gordon comes back and has a phantom injury, that would probably hurt his marketability in the off-season. If he wants a contract immediately when he is traded, his options are limited (which means the Chargers return in a trade is limited, but they say they want a first for him).

    Truth is, if Gordon is worth a first rounder, then he is worth a top 3 contract. Both of those things aren’t true.

    There are only 15 teams that could truly fit his contract in under the cap. Of those 15, only a couple have enough of a need a RB that would even consider taking on the salary. Of those couple, none of them want to pay the draft pick price.

    Gordon will be holding out until week 10. And if Ek and JJ show they are effective, or the Chargers are out of the playoff picture, they could just bench Gordon and active hurt his value.

    At the end of the day, Gordon loses in all scenarios. He desperately needs a competitive team to face a catastrophic injury in the first half of the season for there to be any green grass.

  8. dryzzt23..Gordon has one year on his contract. He’s a good rotational back worth maybe $7 mil. Nobody cares as the “homeless” LA Chargers in Americans homelessness capitol have only a trickle of fans. They screwed their fan base with the disastrous “relocation” resulting in them being an NFL after thought.Are the Las Vegas Raiders next?

  9. He’s got no trade market (only offer was from Eagles for Howard, swapping mid-rounders and LA eating some salary) and decent competition off the street. Looks like his leverage evaporated and he didn’t notice.

  10. If Gordon and his agent were smart they would show up before games start. If these two have a good game or even one has a good game Gordon will be viewed as a product of the system.

    Agents need to start advising players to take less overall money but require higher guaranteed money. Say 8-9 million on a 4-5 year deal with 80-90% guaranteed. This way they are protected by injuries and being cut if their production falls off. Instead of 15 mil a year and 20 mil of their contract is guaranteed.

  11. Its all fun and games until one or both these RBs get hurt and then the chargers become one dimensional. Both backs currently playing are 3rd down backs. Its a different story when you start to get 15-20 carries and guys start teeing off on you.

  12. dryzzt23 says:
    September 5, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I side with ownership 100%. Gordon has 2 years left on his deal, he needs to honor his contract.


    Everything I have read says he is in the final year of the contract. 2 years left, I might agree, but it’s pretty common to do the new deal with 1 year left. Zeke had 2 years left, and got paid before Gordon.

  13. So Crates…the argument is sound. The Chargers are an EMPLOYER, Gordon is an employee who has willingly accepted an employment contract to play for the Chargers for a specific period of time, for a specific amount of money, and specific benefits in exchange for his (Gordon’s) services/skills.
    The employer holds the power to terminate the contract at will.
    The employee accepts a 7-figure salary in exchange for accepting this risk, as well as accepting the risk of injury. ALSO, the employee, by signing, accepts that the salary market for his position might change during the term of the contract. The employee accepts a large signing bonus, other bonuses, and a high salary in exchange for this risk.
    Therefore my argument and cannot be broken (thank you Andrew Wilkow!)!

  14. He is asking from 12 million to 13 million per year. Chargers offered him 10 million per year.
    Not work it for a running back that has only played one full year

  15. He’s all in now. The concept of preserving his body and maximizing his pay before a major injury hits him is smart money business but….it must get lonely being on the outside while negotiating with a team not willing to meet your asking price.

  16. How in the world does a starting NFL running back in his 3rd season, in the year 2019 when NFL teams are being valued at 3 or 4 billion dollars, make just $645k a year pre-tax (in California, no less)?
    I will say it again: NFL running backs need to form their own separate union.

  17. realityonetwo says:
    Wait until one of ’em gets hurt.

    History suggests that if Melvin Gordon was with the team and active HE’D be the one most likely to get hurt.

  18. To me, this isn’t about honoring a contract. NFL contracts are designed to be broken. It is about being smart versus being oblivious. You have to know your own value. You have to know the team you’re trying to work with. You have to know your teammates and whether they’ll be able to succeed without you. Gordon clearly is oblivious to all those things he should know and that he pays an agent to know for him. The Spanos ownership group does not make deals with guys who play hardball. The Spanos ownership group hates spending money. The Chargers are just fine without him, because he’s merely good, not a great running back. He’s already being paid about what he’s worth in the market for a guy of his level. He’s not in the talent class of the big money guys at RB. He should know that but clearly he doesn’t.

  19. Regardless of whether it’s the Chargers or not, I don’t think they has mishandled the situation. Sure, the Chargers are cheap but I don’t think that’s fair to apply it to this situation. They offered Gordon $10M a year and he wanted something like $15M. There’s absolutely no way he’s worth that. They could cut him today and I’d be surprised if any team even offered him $10M a year. Let’s face it, Gordon decided for whatever reason to make unreasonable salary demands and he lost. Now the Chargers have rescinded their previous offer of $10M so he’ll have to play for a measly $5M+ this year–and he won’t even get all of that since he’s going to miss some games and keeps accruing fines. He could report after week 10 and realize he owes more in fines than his salary.

    I’m not their GM but if I were I wouldn’t forgive the fines and I’d make him 3rd string whenever he does come back. He’s not going to be there next year so why bend over backwards for a guy who took a gamble and lost badly.

  20. Chargers got it right with their offer for Gordon (and even that might be too much). Gordon got some bad advice about his market value, and now he’s gonna be hurting financially cause of it.

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