Melvin Gordon

Trade Notes: Chargers, Gordon, Howard

Some league officials have linked the Lions and Bills to Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). Both clubs could be in the market for running back help and both would make ample sense for Gordon – if the Bolts are willing to lower their asking price a bit.

The Chargers haven’t been too keen on moving Gordon, despite the drama-filled offseason and holdout that ventured into the regular season. It’s possible that he could be pried loose for the right price, however, since he’ll be out-of-contract following the 2019 season.

Through four games played, Gordon hasn’t looked like his old self: he’s got just 2.5 yards per carry, plus two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving). Last year, in 12 contests, Gordon averaged 5.1 yards per tote with 14 TDs in total.

Here’s more from around the NFL as we gear up for trade deadline day:

  • The Dolphins are getting calls about cornerback Xavien Howard, Albert Breer of The MMQB reports. Howard says he’s not seeking a trade, and the Dolphins would do well to keep the 26-year-old for future seasons, but that’s not keeping other clubs from inquiring. Thanks to the five-year extension he inked with Miami in the offseason, Howard is under contract through the 2024 season.
  • Interest in Broncos cornerback Chris Harris seems to have cooled a bit, due in part to the asking price, Troy Renck of Denver7 hears. The Eagles and Texans were among the clubs with serious interest, but the Eagles’ D has turned things around and the Texans seem to have already address their CB needs. Meanwhile, the Broncos are paper thin at cornerback, so Renck senses that they won’t consider moving him for less than a third-round choice. Harris, meanwhile, wants to finish out 2019 in Denver, where he and his wife are expecting their fourth child.
  • In case you missed it: The Redskins are now open to trading Trent Williams.

Trade Rumors: Hopkins, Slay, Hooper

The trade deadline is two days away, so there are plenty of rumors to pass along. Of course, many of those rumors center around this year’s non-contenders, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that two such teams — the Redskins and Bengals — continue to rebuff inquiries concerning veterans who should be available. Rival GMs have grown increasingly frustrated with Washington and Cincinnati, and La Canfora says opposing clubs have become resigned to the fact that they are not going to be able to swing a deal with those obstinate franchises. That means that a number of big names — Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, A.J. Green, and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few — are looking more and more likely to stay put.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league, starting with another nugget out of Cincinnati:

  • Michael Lombardi of The Athletic agrees that the Bengals are likely to stand pat at the deadline for the most part, but he does believe the club will move tight end Tyler Eifert.
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is decidedly not on the trading block, but teams have still called Houston to ask about the star wideout, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets. That obviously sounds like clubs doing their due diligence more than anything else, and Glazer acknowledges that it would take an awful lot for the Texans to move Hopkins.
  • The Lions have received calls on CB Darius Slay, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It would take a big offer to pry Slay from Detroit, but in the wake of Slay’s comments earlier this week, maybe the Lions will be more inclined to move him.
  • RB-needy teams have called the Seahawks to inquire on Rashaad Penny, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (video link). Penny is not on the block, per se, but the 2018 first-rounder is drawing interest. In the same video, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Chargers RB Melvin Gordon could also be on the move.
  • Schefter reports that the 49ers have received calls on backup QB C.J. Beathard, whom Schefter suggests could be on the move.
  • The Falcons have fielded calls on DT Tyeler Davison, per Lombardi, but Atlanta has told other teams Davison will not be moved. The team is also going to hang on to TE Austin Hooper, as Schefter tweets.
  • The Giants are likely to cut Nate Solder after the season, so Lombardi believes Big Blue should go ahead and trade him now (though HC Pat Shurmur, whose job could be in jeopardy, would likely resist such a move). The Browns continue to be in the market for OT help, as Schefter writes, and the Patriots may also be interested in a reunion with Solder. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says Solder was not a viable option for Cleveland as of the middle of last week, but that could change in the next couple of days.
  • Janoris Jenkins is another member of the Giants who could be on the move, and while he is likely open to joining a contender, he just wants New York to be transparent with their plans for him, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes. That sentiment was also expressed by former Giants like Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr., who both felt as though Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman were not straightforward with them. Dunleavy names the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Jenkins.
  • Interest remains heavy on Broncos vets Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe, as La Canfora writes. Denver is open to moving Harris and Wolfe, and rival GMs expect the Broncos to make those trades happen.

Chargers Reduced Melvin Gordon’s Fines

Melvin Gordon is officially back with the Chargers. Not only has he reported to the team and ended his holdout, but he’s been activated and appears set to suit up and play in Week 4 against the Dolphins. However, contrary to earlier reports, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Gordon will only play in an emergency, which means Chargers fans may need to wait until next week to see him in action.

Gordon recently addressed the media for the first time, and revealed some interesting information. For starters, Gordon said that Los Angeles cut his fines in half to help entice him to report, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Gordon didn’t seem to be too peeved that he still had to pay some fines, and struck a conciliatory tone. “It comes with consequences siting out,” Gordon said. “To think the fines would be completely washed away, I knew if I got in this situation, it wouldn’t be. You do something against the rules, you pay the consequences.”

In a separate tweet, Williams notes that Gordon said he is retaining his same agent Fletcher Smith and Damarius Bilbo despite the tumultuous times. Gordon also revealed that his agents didn’t play any role in his holdout, and that they wanted him to report. “I was the reason I didn’t come in,” Gordon said. “They wanted me to come in, and I was like, ‘No.’

The Chargers have limped to a 1-2 record, although the backfield hasn’t really been the problem so far. Head coach Anthony Lynn has said that Gordon will resume his normal featured role when he’s back in game-shape, and that current starter Austin Ekeler will go back to being the change-of-pace back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Activate Melvin Gordon

With Melvin Gordon looking likelier to make his debut earlier than expected, the Chargers took the official step by activating him in advance of their Week 4 game against the Dolphins.

The team announced the activation, along with the promotion of wide receiver Andre Patton from their practice squad. The Bolts waived cornerback Dontae Johnson and defensive end Chris Peace to make room on the 53-man roster.

Los Angeles’ initial Gordon plan was for a Week 5 debut, but with Justin Jackson out with a calf injury, Gordon is expected to play in a limited capacity. This is indeed the plan, per USA Today’s Mike Jones (on Twitter). The Bolts pulled a contract offer off the table and said they would not negotiate with Gordon until after the season, which stands to push the two-time Pro Bowler to free agency. But for now, the fifth-year running back will be positioned to help his team move to .500 and re-route its season.

Gordon will team with Austin Ekeler against the woeful Dolphins, who are 14.5-point home underdogs. This duo combined for more than 2,300 scrimmage yards last season. Anthony Lynn confirmed Gordon will return to his starting role soon, but on Sunday, the Chargers will likely keep Ekeler in the lead role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Melvin Gordon Week 4 Debut Possible

After initially being slated to return to game action in Week 5, Melvin Gordon could get a head-start. The Chargers’ injury situation may move their back-in-the-fold Pro Bowler into action Sunday in Miami.

Anthony Lynn said Gordon could play in a limited capacity against the Dolphins, Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets. This comes after the 26-year-old back ended his holdout Wednesday. Gordon, however, was to be held out for a week.

Justin Jackson is out with a strained calf, leaving Austin Ekeler and Troymaine Pope as the only running backs currently on Los Angeles’ 53-man roster. Gordon will need to be activated by the Saturday-afternoon deadline in order to play, but the Bolts will do so, it appears. The two-time Pro Bowl back will travel with the team to Miami.

Lynn said earlier this week Gordon will reclaim his starting job upon returning. That would stand to be the case in Week 5, likely with Ekeler retaining a major role in the Bolts’ offense, but the duo’s roles could be reverse in this in-case-of-emergency situation Sunday.

Gordon finished last season with 1,375 yards from scrimmage in 12 games. He will be a major boost to a Chargers team that’s dropped to 1-2.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Chargers, Broncos, Chiefs

Now that he’s back with the Chargers, running back Melvin Gordon will instantly vault to the top of the club’s depth chart. “He’s our starter. No doubt,” said head coach Anthony Lynn, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. “He was our starter for a reason… as soon as Melvin’s ready, he’ll go back. He’ll go back to number one.” Lynn also said backups Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will continue to get work, but Gordon will become the No. 1 back. Meanwhile, Los Angeles received a roster exemption for Gordon, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Gordon’s exemption ends on October 7, so the Chargers don’t technically have to activate him for either Week 4 or 5.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • The Chargers placed left tackle Russell Okung on the non-football injury list prior to the beginning of the regular season, meaning he has to miss at least the first six weeks of the campaign. Lynn says Okung, who is dealing with a pulmonary embolism, could potentially return by Week 7 or 8, but that timeline is unclear, as Albert Breer of The MMQB.com writes. Amid the uncertainty, Trent Scott has taken over as LA’s starter on Philip Rivers‘ blindside, but he’s graded out as a bottom-10 tackle league-wide, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James is expected to miss two-to-four more weeks while dealing with a knee injury, while cornerback Bryce Callahan is out four-to-six more weeks after undergoing a procedure on his foot, according to Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post (Twitter link). Meanwhile, defensive back Kareem Jackson is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars because of a foot issue, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. As a result, Denver could potentially be without its top three free agent signings for its Week 4 contest.
  • Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is eligible for an extension at season’s end, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this year that the Chiefs signal-caller is likely to land a deal worth more than $200MM. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk examines what’s changed in the months since while looking at just how soon Kansas City could give Mahomes a fresh pact.

Melvin Gordon Reports To Chargers

Melvin Gordon is in the building. On Thursday, the star running back halted his holdout to join the Bolts at their team facility, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

Gordon’s holdout was always viewed as unlikely to stretch the entire season. Per league rules, Gordon has to report before Week 10 in order to qualify for free agency next season. Early on, many thought that the running back would cut it close. That’s not the case – he’s ready to rock and reported to the team on Thursday. He won’t be suiting up for this week’s game, but he could be placed back into the lineup for the Chargers’ Oct. 6 showdown with the Broncos.

After missing three games, Gordon has lost out on $1MM of his $5.6MM salary for 2019. The Chargers may, or may not, rescind fines levied against him for the missed time.

More importantly – Gordon will be cashing paychecks the rest of the way and paving the way for free agent riches in March. From a football perspective, he’ll provide a major boost for the Chargers, who are presently 1-2.

Beyond this year, Gordon expects 2019 to be his last season with the Chargers, though he has previously indicated a desire to remain in L.A. Worth noting – Gordon was open to being traded to the Texans after they lost Lamar Miller to injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Melvin Gordon To Report To Chargers

After reports earlier today suggested that Melvin Gordon may be ending his holdout and returning to the Chargers soon, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Gordon will indeed report to the team tomorrow (Twitter link). Gordon will not play in the team’s matchup against Miami on Sunday, but he will presumably return to action the following week.

Gordon needed to return before Week 10 in order to qualify for free agency next season, so he is reporting with plenty of time to spare. However, having missed three weeks of action, he will lose out on roughly $1MM of his $5.6MM 2019 salary, not to mention potential fines (which the team may opt to rescind).

Statistically, Los Angeles’ rushing game has not suffered too much in Gordon’s absence, as Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson have 56 carries for 302 yards (good for 5.4 yards per carry) and two TDs. Ekeler is responsible for both of those scores, and he has also been a contributor in the passing game, adding two receiving touchdowns as well.

However, the Chargers have dropped their last two games, and while they are racking up a lot of yardage, they don’t have the points to show for it. Adding another talented and versatile back could certainly help.

The last we heard, Los Angeles was not planning to give Gordon a new contract during the 2019 season, and the Chargers are clearly not willing to give Gordon the type of contract he is seeking. Indeed, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Gordon expects 2019 to be his last season with the Chargers (Twitter link).

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com adds that Gordon was open to being traded to the Texans, who were a logical suitor given their running back needs (Twitter link). But despite the fact that the Chargers gave Gordon permission to seek a trade, Fowler says Los Angeles never made a trade a viable option, with the implication being that the Bolts put a prohibitively high price tag on their former first-round pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Melvin Gordon To End Holdout?

Melvin Gordon could be on the verge of suiting up for the Chargers once again. His holdout may end soon, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears, though he has yet to decide on when he’ll report. 

Gordon is considering ending his holdout on Thursday, according to Branson Wright of The Plain Dealer (Twitter link) which may allow him to return to action on Oct. 6 against the Broncos. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) is hearing similar word, though nothing has been firmed up just yet on Gordon’s end. Furthermore, head coach Anthony Lynn said he has not heard from Gordon, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com tweets.

Previously, Gordon planned to return at some point in October. Apparently, Gordon’s itch to get back on the field has advanced his timeline. There’s no word yet on whether his return will come with a new contract from the Chargers, though GM Tom Telesco says that he will not give the running back a new contract during the 2019 season.

Gordon has aimed to protect his football future with his holdout, though a source close to Gordon recently said that this would not evolve into a “Le’Veon Bell situation.” The touchdown machine is hoping to stay with the Bolts for the long run, so it only makes sense for this holdout to end differently than Bell’s in Pittsburgh.

The Chargers have been open to trading the Gordon, but they have not received any known offers worth considering. Recently, the Eagles offered up Jordan Howard and a swap mid-round picks, but the Chargers, understandably, were not interested.

Without Gordon, the Chargers have dropped two in a row to the Lions and Texans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Melvin Gordon Still Wants To Play For Chargers

Melvin Gordon will continue to “protect himself” with his holdout, but he “still wants to be a Charger,” a source tells ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). This won’t be a “Le’Veon Bell situation,” the source added, so we can still expect to see Gordon back on the field at some point in 2019. 

At this stage, a mid-season or early November return is looking likely, Fowler hears. In the interim, Gordon figures to play on the $5.6MM fifth-year option of his deal, though he’ll be docked 1/17th for each week he misses. So far, he’s down about $660K for Weeks 1 and 2.

Gordon surely wants to play football, but he has other reasons for wanting to get back on the gridiron. Namely – he must report before Week 10 in order to qualify for free agency next season.

Earlier this month, the Eagles expressed interest in Gordon and gave the Bolts a lowball offer for the ages. In theory, the Chargers could still trade the touchdown machine, but for now, they seem willing to wait things out. Here’s what we do know – the Chargers are unwilling to give Gordon an extension in 2019.

For now, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will share backfield duties in L.A.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.