As Melvin Gordon’s contract impasse reaches a week, the Los Angeles Chargers running back says his teammates and running backs around the league support him.
Gordon said he gave some teammates a heads-up that he would threaten to hold out if he didn’t get a new deal.
“They’re all behind me. They all got my back,” Gordon told ESPN in a sit-down interview this week. “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, 26, who was drafted 15th overall by the Chargers in 2015, is entering the final year of his rookie contract — a fifth-year option worth $5.6 million. However, agent Fletcher Smith told ESPN’s Adam Schefter last Thursday that without a new deal, Gordon will not report to training camp and will demand a trade.
Gordon had expressed support for Le’Veon Bell’s contract holdout last season. He said he is now getting encouragement from other running backs.
“A lot of running backs have reached out to me just saying go out and get what you deserve,” Gordon said. “A lot. A lot of starters. A lot, a lot of backs.”
Gordon reiterated what he said Saturday, that he wants to remain a Charger, and he wants fans to know that.
“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.”
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Gordon rushed for 5.1 yards per carry and had 14 total touchdowns in 2018. He also averaged 114.6 scrimmage yards per game last season, the best by any Chargers player since LaDainian Tomlinson (121.8 in 2007), according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Gordon skipped most of the offseason but attended mandatory minicamp. The Chargers are scheduled to open training camp July 24 in Costa Mesa, California.
He said that he knows what he wants in a new deal, “and they know what I want, so we’re just going to see what happens.”
Could that mean a holdout like Bell did before getting dealt by the Steelers to the Jets?
“I’m prepared to do what I got to do, but like I said I hope it doesn’t come to that,” Gordon said.
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