Melvin Gordon miscalculated the situation when he held out last year.
Anyone paying attention could come to that conclusion. Gordon held out on the last year of his rookie contract. He never got that new deal. When he was holding out, Austin Ekeler emerged as a fine all-around back for the Chargers. The Chargers paid Ekeler and let Gordon walk in free agency. Gordon signed with the Denver Broncos.
It was easy to see that Gordon’s holdout didn’t have any tangible benefit. Gordon admitted on Friday that he regretted holding out.
Melvin Gordon has regrets about holdout
During a conference call with Broncos media, Gordon said he should have played instead of continuing his holdout into the season. Gordon ended up missing four games.
He was asked if he had any regrets about his holdout.
“I probably would come back, more so because of my legacy and what I’m trying to do as a player and the mark I’m trying to leave," Gordon said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.
That’s not necessarily a shock that Gordon has some regrets. He alluded to it last season. Everyone understood that Gordon didn’t get the deal he wanted from the Chargers. He signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Broncos. What was a bit surprising is that Gordon said he thought he ruined some relationships with his holdout.
More from Melvin Gordon on his holdout last year with the Chargers: pic.twitter.com/00fxxjpSia
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) March 27, 2020
Gordon lands with Broncos
Gordon comes into this season with questions to answer. He had 3.8 yards per carry, his lowest mark since his rookie season. His 7 yards per catch was also the lowest mark since his rookie season. Ekeler, who got a $24.5 million deal over four years from the Chargers, was often the better back last season.
Gordon has a chance to start a new chapter in his career with the Broncos, who have a good young offensive skill-position core and a better offensive line than he had at any point with the Chargers. He admits that criticisms of his play last season are motivating him.
Some players have turned a holdout into a great deal, like Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. NFL players, and particularly running backs, should use whatever leverage they have to maximize their career earnings. But Gordon provides an example of holdouts not always working out.
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