Now that running back Melvin Gordon has returned to the Chargers after an extended holdout, it’s time to tabulate the maximum cost of the decision to skip training camp, the preseason, and three games of the regular season.
Obviously, Gordon has lost three game checks. At a base salary of $5.605 million payable in 17 weekly installments, Gordon lost three checks in the amount of $329,700. That’s $989,100 in lost regular-season revenue.
Gordon also incurred significant fines. Because he is operating under the fifth-year option applicable to first-round picks, the Chargers can fine him $30,000 per day of each missed day of training camp (for all other players, the daily fine is $40,000) and the full amount of a regular-season game check for each preseason game that he missed. With 13 days of training camp practices and four preseason games at $329,700 each, that’s a grand total of $1.708 million in potential fines — if the Chargers enforce the full amount of Gordon’s financial responsibility.
By holding out, Gordon also missed the daily per diem of $2,000 from the first day of training camp through one week prior to the first game of the regular season. Applying the provision in the CBA literally, that’s 37 total days from July 26 through September 1, that’s another $74,000 in lost revenue.
So the range for Gordon begins with a minimum of $1.063 million in lost revenue, if no fines are collected, and increases to a maximum of $2.771 million, if the Chargers exercise their right under the labor deal to collect every dollar of the available fines.
In the end, what did Gordon gain? He avoided the potential injury risk from training camp, the preseason, and three regular-season games. Only Gordon can decide whether it was worth it, especially if the Chargers decide to play hardball regarding the fines.