Three weeks ago to the day, Melvin Gordon and his agent Damarious Bilbo went to the media with the statement that the Chargers need to “pay me or trade me”.
Since then it has been reported that Gordon believes he is worth no less than the highest paid running backs in the NFL. There were also conflicting reports in the minds of hopeful Chargers fans that he’s only holding out to receive “market value”. If you stack up his production in comparison with the upper tier of running back salaries, market value would be somewhere between the $13 million per year David Johnson received, and the $8 per year that Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy are being paid. The Chargers seem to share the view of him being somewhere in the middle of that large discrepancy in pay, reportedly offering a contract that averages $10 million per year.
Gordon and his camp just made it abundantly clear today to the Chargers and the rest of the NFL that he is expecting to be paid like one of the very best running backs in football. The Chargers are holding firm what appears to be an extremely fair offer, one that makes him the highest paid running back on a roster who’s quarterback isn’t on a rookie contract, and Gordon is having none of it.
This leads me to the conclusion Gordon believes one of three things:
- There is another team in the league willing to pay more than $10 million/season as well as trading away a quality enough player or draft pick to convince the Chargers to give him away
- He is being low-balled so much so that next season he will receive a contract so far beyond $10 million/season that it more than makes up for losing what will be close to $6 million in fines he’ll receive this year.
- The Chargers are offering a disproportionately small amount of guaranteed money in this reportedly offered contract.
If those are the variables at play here, either Gordon has been hit in the head less than the agent he’s chosen to represent him, OR this situation has become more and more like Le’Veon Bell’s holdout from last season.
For those who don’t know, NFL teams publicize what they are potentially willing to pay a certain player in the form of non guaranteed figures. This lead to an incredible amount of public backlash towards Le’Veon for sitting out the 2018 season after Pittsburgh offered him a 5 year, $70 million deal. It wasn’t until much later that it was reported that contract only included $14.54 million in guaranteed money through the length of the deal. Many fans believe he made the wrong decision for missing a year and signing a shorter deal for 4 years, $52.5 million in New York, still unaware that his new contract offers almost double the guaranteed money at $27 million.
Now, a large part of the reason Pittsburgh had offered such a little amount in the way of guaranteed money is due to Bell having been suspended in consecutive seasons, knowing that a third suspension would likely lead to Bell missing most if not all of an entire season.
Gordon has no such history of suspensions, and almost certainly isn’t being offered less than $3 million per season in guarantees, but Gordon has missed games due to a torn meniscus, and sprains to his MCL and PCL, all in the same knee.
Leading me to the conclusion this holdout comes down to one of two reasons: The Chargers don’t trust Melvin Gordon to stay healthy, or Gordon believes he’s as valuable as any running back in football.
Who is to blame for the Gordon holdout?
This poll is closed
Gordon for over valuing himself
The Chargers for doubting he stays healthy