Count the Philadelphia Eagles out of the Melvin Gordon sweepstakes.
After reports this week that the Eagles were the lone team reaching out to the Los Angeles Chargers to inquire about landing the running back, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson pushed back. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, Pederson publicly denied the report that the team was considering shipping running back Jordan Howard and swapping draft picks with the Chargers to land Gordon.
“We feel great about Jordan, which is why we brought him here,” Pederson said. “We actually went to Jordan when the report came out, went right to him and said ‘Listen, you’re here. The report’s false. It’s not coming from us.’
Howard said that he wasn’t bothered by the reports, either, saying his job is to focus on the start of the NFL season.
“That doesn’t really make me feel any kind of way. It’s good people are interested in me or whatever,” he said.
With just days remaining until the start of the NFL season, the Chargers have begun shopping Gordon to potential trade partners. The team said publicly that it would no longer be negotiating with Gordon, ending talks until after the season was over. As Pro Football Talk reported, the Chargers have now see the price for Gordon, asking for a first-round pick and a fifth-round pick in exchange.
As Albert Breer of NBC Sports reported on Twitter, teams don’t seem to be interested in paying such a high price. Breer noted that there was only one team even in preliminary talks — later identified as the Eagles — and even then the interest level wasn’t high. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggested that asking price could just be an opener for the Chargers, but noted that there isn’t a lot of pressure for the team to trade him at a low price.
“Ultimately, the Chargers can do whatever they want. They hold the cards, and they can sit and wait for Gordon to show up, get credit for the fifth year of his rookie deal, and then let him walk away as a free agent, sign him to a long-term deal, tag him, or tag him and trade him,” the report noted.
The Chargers also know they would get Gordon back at some point this year. In order to get credit for the final year of his rookie contract, he would need to report to the team near the middle of this year.