Los Angeles Chargers All-Pro RB Requests Trade if New Deal is Not Met
Melvin Gordon III is set to make $5.6 million in the final year of his rookie contract, which is good for a rookie; but far too little for a Pro Bowler of his caliber. Gordon has averaged 224 carries a year in his four seasons in the league, to say he totes the rock a lot is an understatement to running backs.
Gordon has finished in the Top 25 in carries every single year (that may not sound very high but when you acknowledge that 200 other people carry the ball at least 5 times a season it ranks him much higher) The Chargers are a different offense with Gordon in the backfield, the only issue is, being in the backfield. Melvin Gordon has only started a full season once in his four year career. This concern, however, goes both ways.
In Gordon’s defense he doesn’t want to take the beating and the risk that 200+ carries puts on your body without insuring it’s worth it. The average lifespan of an NFL running back is 3.3 years. Think about how many good running backs never get to make money beyond their rookie deal because their career is over. For all the medical concerns and job security in general $5.6 is way to little to risk your future on.
On the other side, the Chargers don’t want to be in the whole millions of dollars and not have the ability/funds to seek out a safety net if they pay Gordon that kind of money.
Most notably to Gordon are the three current running backs (Todd Gurley, Le’veon Bell, and David Johnson) that got new deals recently. Gordon feels he is a Top 5 running back in this league and he feels he should be paid like one. Gordon and his agent Fletcher Smith reported to ESPN that the running back will not report to training camp and will demand a trade if no new deal is met. This could be a HUGE blow to a Chargers offense than runs on a different level with Gordon in the game.
Á la Le’veon Bell, Melvin Gordon will choose to save his body for next years free agency or a new team rather than sacrifice it through another NFL season on a rookie deal.
It’s a very difficult debate on who deserves the upper hand, but a player of Melvin Gordon’s caliber will be paid some where. I feel the Chargers need to get a deal done and lock up their RB1 for the future, and than do a better job of spelling him with your backups, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson (who went 4-0 without Gordon last year.) This way you can better ensure him of injury risk.
Nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL and especially not contracts, it’ll be an interesting couple of weeks as the Chargers are set to open Training Camp in 13 days (July 24.) Will they lock up their featured star? Or will they burden Rivers with an undefined backfield once again and sink him to the basement in his final years?
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