The Los Angeles Chargers and star running back Melvin Gordon still aren’t close to coming to terms on a new deal, and the organization is now willing to allow the former first-round pick to seek a trade.
Running backs around the league are fighting to be paid as much as players at more valued positions, and they have been galvanized by Le’Veon Bell’s holdout last season, regardless of the ultimate effectiveness of this maneuver.
Los Angeles Chargers standout rusher Melvin Gordon is further away from receiving a new, lucrative deal from his team than Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, and there’s a real chance Gordon ends up sitting out regular season games to avoid being injured on a sub-optimal contract.
Or he could get traded.
According to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Chargers have given Gordon’s representation the green light to ask for a trade. Per Rapoport, Gordon will take some time to mull over his options, but a trade sounds like a realistic scenario, provided Gordon and the Chargers can find someone willing to either pay him or deal with the ensuing contractual uncertainty.
The Chargers surely value Gordon and understand his talent, but they have other impact players at pass-heavy positions they need to pay next offseason. On top of that, the Chargers like what they have in their backup running backs. No, Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson aren’t nearly as good as Gordon, but in tandem, they can be more than “good enough” as Gordon’s replacements.
What probably took the Chargers a little longer to formally grant a Gordon trade is the fact that they are locked in a tight battle in the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs, and they have a squad capable of winning the AFC. Losing a player of Gordon’s caliber could hurt their chances of winning it all, but if he holds out, that is an even worse situation for the Chargers.
Several teams around the league should have interest in signing a player of Gordon’s caliber, though the market of teams willing to pay money and draft capital for a running back will be few and far between.