The Los Angeles Chargers appear to be locked in a stalemate with running back holdout Melvin Gordon, but one report suggests that the team could pursue an unconventional trade partner for him.
Gordon has been holding out for a new contract for the Chargers, reportedly asking to be paid alongside the top running backs in the league at somewhere between $13 million and $15 million annually. The Chargers offered Gordon a $10 million-per-year deal, which the running back rejected as he remained away from the team. Just before the start of the season, the Chargers announced that contract negotiations would be off until after the season and reportedly gave Gordon’s representation permission to feel out trades for him.
While there hasn’t been much action on that front — due in large part to the team’s reported asking price of a first- and fifth-round draft pick — Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk thinks that the team could swap Gordon for another holdout, Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams. As Florio noted, the trade would give both players the fresh start they’re looking for while allowing both teams to end the headaches that come from the holdouts.
“With Week Two looming, neither Chargers running back Melvin Gordon nor Washington left tackle Trent Williams have ended their holdouts. And with Gordon planning to stay away as long as he can while still getting credit for the last year of his rookie contract and with Williams still seemingly intent on not playing for Washington again, why not do a Gordon for Williams trade?” he wrote.
While it’s not clear if the Los Angeles Chargers would consider such a trade, there appears to be an increasing likelihood that Melvin Gordon will not play for the Chargers again. As The Inquisitr noted, Gordon’s leverage with the team is steadily sinking after strong performances out of the running back tandem of Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in Week 1 for the Chargers. The two combined for 115 yards on the ground, and Ekeler added two touchdown receptions.
The Fansided blog NFL Spin Zone noted that the very strong performances from Gordon’s replacements could only increase the likelihood that the team is willing to move on from Gordon.
“While Ekeler and Jackson have always been a part of the offense with Gordon active, now they have a chance to truly shine,” the report said. “This is exactly why it’s time to move on.”
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 13, 2019
Assuming he isn’t traded, Melvin Gordon would have until November to end his holdout and return to the Chargers so he can get credit for the last year on his contract.