Melvin Gordon is planning a lengthy holdout if the Los Angeles Chargers don’t meet his demands for a new contract on par with the NFL’s top-paid running backs, ESPN reported Friday.
Gordon’s holdout began when the Chargers reported to training camp this week after a warning from Gordon through agent Fletcher Smith that he wouldn’t report without a new deal. Smith and Gordon plan to request a trade if a new deal isn’t struck, but the Chargers are showing no willingness to oblige.
General manager Tom Telesco said Wednesday that Gordon would be playing for the Chargers if he suits up this season.
“I love Melvin Gordon,” Telesco said. “He’s an excellent player. He’s tough. He has a great work ethic and represents our organization extremely well. But he’s not here.
“I understand his thoughts and opinions of what he’s going through. I always look at the player’s side, so I can see it. It doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I can kind of see what his thought process is.”
Telesco said Gordon was offered a new contract but that the team is ready to move forward behind the trio of Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome.
“I’m not naive; I know we’re better with Melvin Gordon,” Telesco said. “But we’ve got a strong group of guys that are here, and it’s their time to work and get ready to go.”
Gordon is subject to fines up to $40,000 for each day of training camp he misses. He is in the final season of his rookie contract and slated to make $5.6 million this season.
The 26-year-old has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, the two-time Pro Bowl selection has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.
—Field Level Media