“Chargers Questions-My Answers”
Week 3-of NFL training camps begins and he’s still not here…he being RB-Melvin Gordon.
Here are fans questions and my answers on an ugly holdout.
WHAT IS GORDON ASKING FOR?
..He is due to make 5.6M in the final year of his contract before he’d become a free agent. He is asking for an immediate contract upgrade that puts him on a par with top RBs like Le’Veon Bell-Jets…Todd Gurley-Rams…David Johnson-Cardinals.
WHAT DO THEY MAKE?
..Gurley is beginning a (4Y-63M) contract coming off superb seasons, but is plagued by an arthritic knee issue that must be managed. Bell, after his Steeler holdout, is making (13.4M) a season on a 4-year deal, after sitting out last year refusing to sign a (14.5M) franchise tag deal-money he’s not going to makeup. Johnson is earning (13M) a year in Arizona.
WHAT HAS GORDON DEMANDED?
..After four very productive seasons, Gordon is asking for at least a (3Y-39M) contract upgrade immediately. That would average 13M per season. The Chargers refuse to give him that type of huge pay raise.
WHAT HAVE THE CHARGERS OFFERED?
..They offered him a (5Y-41M) extension the was promptly rejected because it would average just 8M per year, well short of what other elite backs are getting.
WOULD THEY TRADE HIM?
..The agent asked for permission to seek a deal with another club but the Chargers denied that. If they put him on the trade block, they might get a 2nd round draft pick with a team that runs and throws the ball to backs like him.
WHO NEEDS A RUNNING BACK?
..Think New England-Houston-Miami-49ers-Green Bay..but the salary demands may kill a potential deal. Gordon has (5,205) all purpose yards and 1,079-touches in those four years.
IS HE INJURY PRONE?
..He has had 4-different injuries in 4-years, two of them fluke injuries. He suffered a knee injury last year when he was leg whipped while running a reverse. He tore meniscus another year at the end of the season. He’s had a minor hip and hamstring issue, but played thru that. He has missed 9-games in 4-years, but nothing catastrophic. He has been a quality heavy duty running back.
DO THEY NEED HIM?
..Of course they do. I think it’s an injustice to say any of the other RBs on that roster could replace him. Austin Eckeler-Justin Jackson-Dextraze Newsome have all performed well in cameo appearances, but none has ever been the lead back for a 16-game schedule, and none have the dynamics Gordon creates on the field.
WHAT IS THIS HOLDOUT COSTING HIM?
..Gordon gets fined 40,000 a day for missing camp, and Monday will be his 12th day out of camp, so he faces 480,000 in fines so far. If he is not in camp by Thursday’s preseason opener, he gets docked a game check 330,000 for each game missed, regular and preseason. The club can rescind the daily fines, and most teams do, when a holdout ends. He won’t get back game checks though.
WHAT ARE HIS OPTIONS?
..Holdout the season entirely, but then know he still owes the Chargers a full season that would have to be played out in 2020 if he missed 2019. If he comes in and plays the final year, he could be a free agent in 2020-but the team could ‘Franchise Tag’ him on a 1-year deal that would net him about 14.5M for 2020, but gives him no signing bonus and no job security beyond 2020, nor any injury protection. He could ask the team not to Franchise Tag him next year, but clubs normally do not give up any options to players.
WHAT LEVERAGE DO THE CHARGERS HAVE?
..They can let him sit, but they lose an integral dynamic in their offense. They could give him a pay bump this year to 8M and then give him a 2-year extension to 12M and 14M the final two years. The wear and tear factor on RBs makes anything longer absurd.
WHAT IS THE SALARY CAP ISSUE FOR THE BOLTS?
..QB-Philip Rivers is in the final year of his contract, and wants an upgrade that would take his salary to 22M a year or so, and that includes a big signing bonus. How does the Spanos family cash flow sit, and can they handle giving big bonuses to both Gordon-Rivers? They also have to deal with the possible season ending blood clot issue to LT-Russell Okung and his 13M cap figure this year.
WHAT SHOULD THEY DO?
..If I were king, give him a pay bump right now. If they were to franchise tag him next year, they’d have to pay 14M plus anyway. He has outplayed the contract. Find a common ground. With him they are an AFC powerhouse team to challenge the Chiefs-Patriots. Without him, this derails Tom Telesco’s blueprint, and there’s too much on Rivers plate to do this by himself this year. Of course if I were king, I would have never moved the team out of San Diego.