The news of Melvin Gordon’s potential holdout through training camp has been one of the most largely-reported NFL stories over the last two weeks. While this is, indeed, a time of few headlines, there is also the added interest of following the evolving relationship between running backs and their current and future contract writers.
Recent fan polling has indicated that roughly 2⁄3 of fans are siding with the Chargers against paying Gordon like a top-5 running back, but it is also important to note that there are no concrete details that he is asking for that. The sticking point could be guarantees, it could be contract length, it could be total amount, or it could be deferred payments... or any number of issues. The fact of the matter is that Gordon’s camp feels that he is worth more than the 5.6 million he’s set to receive this year, and the potential replacement contract offered to him was less than he feels he’s earned. Beyond those points, no numbers or specifics have been credibly released.
ESPN’s Sam Alipour sat down with Gordon to talk about his demands, and he had some interesting tidbits to tell. He announced that he had given his teammates a heads-up on his demands, and they said that they support him.
“They’re all behind me. They all got my back. They all told me, ‘You know what -- we don’t really speak on contracts -- but you just go and do what’s best for your family.’ And I’m glad I got that support from them.”
Gordon then began to say that other running backs have offered their support as well.
“A lot of running backs have reached out to me just saying go out and get what you deserve. A lot. A lot of starters. A lot, a lot of backs.”
For fans of Gordon’s play, he softened up a little bit by mentioning that he would much prefer to stay in powder blues.
“Just because we’re going through contract issues right now doesn’t mean I want to get traded,” he said. “I love being a Charger. I don’t want them to feel like I don’t want to be there.”
So there you have it— Melvin Gordon is still set on holding out, and he seems aware that this could be a long process with some collateral damage along the way. Having the support of his teammates and others at his same position will surely help him as he navigates these tricky waters, but it’s also worth mentioning that his stance isn’t currently costing the team any wins or forcing contract restructures for other players.
There is a long way to go before we see the end of this story, and it certainly sounds like Melvin Gordon is prepared to keep his foot down for the long haul.
-Jason “Running my mouth” Michaels