Chargers’ Melvin Gordon To Skip Camp

As expected, Melvin Gordon will not be on hand for training camp (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). Gordon, of course, is holding out in an effort to land a lucrative new deal. 

For each day that Gordon misses in training camp, the Chargers can fine him up to $40K. It’s a major risk and a major blow to his bank account, but in Gordon’s estimation, it’s worthwhile.

When looking at the history of running backs in the NFL – and their injury history in particular – Gordon’s push for financial security makes plenty of sense. Granted, running back holdouts don’t necessarily pay off. Le’Veon Bell famously skipped the 2018 season in an effort to preserve his body and reach free agency riches, but his four-year, $52MM deal with the Jets fell shy of his asking price.

This week, we heard that the Chargers have not budged in talks. Gordon, meanwhile, has expressed a desire to stay with the Chargers for the long haul.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Chargers’ Melvin Gordon To Skip Camp

  1. You seem to be missing the point about these running back holdouts.

    1. the year off does allow their bodies to fully recover and perhaps adds two years to their career, not just one. I.e. the back doesn’t report at age 25. Loses a season. Instead of playing to age 28, the back now can play to age 30. That’s an extra year of income.

    2. The back when he does come back gets two or three years guaranteed with another team, rather than either fifth year extension money or one year franchise tag.

    So the back gives up $5 million in guaranteed money but picks up say $24 million guaranteed with likely income for three years not two.

    Take fifth year option at $5 million + 1 year of franchise tag and then career over (standard for a running back) or cut and only hired back at low wages ($2 million/year or less).

    That’s a total $16 million. There’s also risk of injury in that fifth year which would leave the back with just $5 million.

    With holdout, the same back would make $24 million guaranteed and $26 million over three seasons (assuming $8 million year salary with a few bonuses).

    There’s a huge difference between $24 million guaranteed and $5 million guaranteed (playing on the fifth year option).

    Unless the owners address this situation, fifth year holdouts will become SOP for first round draft picks outperforming or even matching their fifth year money.

    There’s just too many injuries in the NFL which makes the players dancing around maximizing their guaranteed money understandable. The rules have to be enforced equally across all players. Right now it’s a free for all. Worse behaviour is almost always better rewarded.

    PS. This situation with holdouts and guaranteed money is one of the most important ones affecting the NFL now. Feel free to write this up into an article of its own with a co-author credit. Or ask me to do it.

  2. Ironman_4life

    I know its all about money and not football but in a normal world, i would say this is called quitting on your teammates and sitting while they attend camp in 100 degree weather. Just my perception

  3. hoosierhysteria

    Fine him the max. Give in once…you will have a line outside the GM’s door. And get those franchise tags ready. Melvin is dumba$$.

  4. OCTraveler

    If sitting going into the 5th year is the new trend, then simply trade them after year 3 for other 3rd year players (and if needed draft choices) and let the new teams renegotiate new contracts beginning in year 4.

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