Melvin Gordon could be returning to the Los Angeles Chargers sooner than expected.
The star running back has been holding out as he sought a new contract, reportedly seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 million to $15 million per year. The Chargers offered $10 million per year, then shut off negotiations until after the season when Gordon rejected the offer.
There was a belief that Gordon would remain out until around November when he would be required to report in order to get credit for the final year on his contract, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that he’s ready to return earlier than expected.
“Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon’s holdout could soon be coming to an end, though no final decisions have made when to report, per league sources. He had planned to return at some point in October, but could soon be moving up his reporting date,” Schefter reported.
There are reports that Gordon may be aiming to be back this week, though neither the team nor Gordon’s camp has spoken about the reports.
This seems to be a change from reporting just a few days ago. CBS Sports had reported that Gordon would be missing his team’s Week 4 game and that there was no clear end in sight for the holdout. It now appears that Gordon may return to the team as early as Thursday of this week, meaning he could be on the field on Sunday when the Chargers take on the Miami Dolphins.
Gordon could be pushed back a bit by the performance of his replacement in Los Angeles. Austin Ekeler has been strong in both the running and passing games for the Chargers, leading to speculation that Gordon may be losing any leverage he once had of being paid along with the top running backs in the league. An abbreviated season also would have given Gordon less of a chance to impress potential suitors for when he hits free agency in 2020.
Ekeler, along with fellow backup Justin Jackson, had performed so well in Gordon’s place that some speculated the Chargers could trade Gordon and stick with the combo throughout the season. As The Inquisitr previously reported, some speculation arose that the Chargers could use whatever Gordon could bring and fill holes caused by an injury. It’s not clear how much trade value Gordon would have given that he’s headed to free agency, and it doesn’t appear that the Chargers engaged in any real talks with teams.