Melvin Gordon tells Chargers he’s not showing up without a new deal

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Melvin Gordon is taking a stand.

The Chargers running back, entering the fifth year of his first-round rookie deal, has informed the Chargers that he won’t report for training camp without a new contract, and that he’ll demand a trade. Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, informed ESPN of the situation.

Gordon is due to make $5.605 million this year. He has been eligible for a second contract since the completion of the 2017 season.

It’s wise for Gordon to force the issue; injury and age can quickly diminish a running back’s value. The problem becomes even more pronounced for running backs taken in round one, since the fifth-year option is available to be used against them.

In contrast, former Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell earned $12.1 million under the franchise tag in his fifth NFL season, because he wasn’t a first-round pick. Which highlights the value of not being a first-round pick — especially if the player isn’t taken in the top 10, which triggers a considerably higher fifth-year option salary.

Gordon has made $10.669 million during his first four NFL seasons. He has rushed for 3,628 yards in 51 career regular-season games. He has one 1,000-yard rushing season and 38 total touchdowns, rushing and receiving.

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