Chargers RB Melvin Gordon is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and he indicated that his agent has had preliminary talks with the team about a long-term deal, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com writes.
Gordon, who is due a modest $5.61MM this year under his fifth-year option, obviously wants a new, more lucrative contract. While he did not sound like someone who is contemplating a holdout, he did not rule out the possibility either. He said, “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a deal done. But that’s not going to stop me from coming out here and doing what I need to do. We’re going to see. I would like to go out there and have it done. We’re talking right now, and that’s kind of where I’m going to leave it.”
We examined Gordon’s case for an extension back in March. At the time, we noted that GM Tom Telesco is open to considering an extension for Gordon, but that Telesco did not offer a timetable for getting a deal done.
Gordon does not have eye-popping YPC numbers in his career (he has averaged 4.0 yards per carry over his four professional seasons), but he did manage 5.1 yards per tote in 2018. He is also a major weapon as a receiver, compiling over 400 receiving yards in each of the past three seasons. He has 28 rushing touchdowns and 10 receiving scores in his career, and he was a key part of the Chargers’ return to the postseason last year.
As a result, the Wisconsin product stands to cash in and will surely be paid at the high end of the running back market. Todd Gurley is currently the pacesetter with an average annual value of $14.375MM and $45MM in guarantees, while Le’Veon Bell recently landed a $13.125MM/year pact. The Cardinals’ David Johnson is now working under a $13MM/year deal that includes $32MM in guarantees.
Head coach Anthony Lynn offered the following: “Melvin Gordon is extremely important to us. When he’s out here on the field, he works his tail off. He’s gotten better every year that I’ve been here. I think he’s headed in the right direction. If he just goes out and keeps doing what he’s been doing, that contract stuff will take care of itself.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.