It was already very clear, but the Los Angeles Chargers have made their stance on a new contract for Melvin Gordon officially public now.
As Melvin Gordon’s holdout encroaches on the start of the regular season, it’s pretty clear how the Los Angeles Chargers feel about giving him a contract extension that would pay him toward the top of the running back market.
Now, according to Gilbert Manzano of the Orange County Register, Chargers’ general manager Tom Telesco has announced that extension talks with Gordon will be postponed until after the season. That comes on the heels of a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Saturday that the Chargers have given Gordon permission to seek a trade.
The Chargers have reportedly made an offer to Gordon in the $10 million per year range, which would put him in the top-five at the position based on that financial metric.
Joe Reedy of the Associated Press passed along more detailed comments from Telesco.
“With the regular season now here, we have informed Melvin’s representatives that discussions regarding a contract extension will be postponed until the conclusion of the season. When, or if, Melvin reports he will play under his current contract.”
So the Chargers are saying clearly that Gordon will either play for them, or a team he wishes to be traded to, assuming fair compensation can be worked out with said team. If Gordon’s camp is talking to that team, a trade would be a foregone conclusion.
Gordon is slated to make $5.6 million in salary this year, on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. He is already subject to a large accumulation of fines for skipping training camp and all four preseason games, and next Sunday he’d start sacrificing game checks of $330,000 a week.
The Chargers have always had most of the leverage in this situation, apart from Gordon simply withholding his services. With Sunday’s announcement, they’re willing to carry that leverage right through the coming season if they don’t trade him. Absent a trade that’s to his own satisfaction, Gordon will have to report at some point if he wants to get a credited season and hit free agency next March.