“Chargers–Holdout Over–Damage Done”
Melvin Gordon, the Chargers holdout running back is reportedly checking back into camp, ending his holdout that began in July.
He comes in with his team having lost 2-games already this season, with the teeth of the schedule ahead of them, and a raft of injuries hanging around their neck just 3-weeks into the season.
Gordon comes back into camp with plenty of football ahead for his team. But his ability to contribute will probably take a couple of weeks to find his rhythm.
Nothing was accomplished during his 9-week holdout.
His team lost games he would have made a difference in, losing to Detroit and then Houston.
Nothing was accomplished by his holdout., financially. It cost him 2.3M in game checks, the four preseason games and the 3-regular season games he missed.
He will not get a contract extension in season, at least that is what GM-Tom Telesco said when the season opened.
It means he plays out the season for the 3.3M remaining on his contract. He risks injury, he risks negotiating leverage by going back on the field.
But he will finish out his contract, and then become a free agent next February. Of course the Chargers can retain his services.
They can give him an extension once the season is over. They could franchise tag him next year on a one year deal that would get him 14M for 2020, on another just one year deal.
Of course, there is no signing bonus and he would then again play 2020 with the injury risk hanging over his head.
It should have never come to this.
Gordon, who has piled up (5,005) yards in all purpose offense in four seasons, makes the offense go, and makes things easier for superstar QB-Philip Rivers.
He outplayed his original contract, but he overplayed his hand by going AWOL.
The Chargers should have taken care of him this past off season, with at least upgrading the last year of his contract, taking it from 5.6M to 10M for the final season, and using that 10M figure as the jumping off point for next year.
But no, everybody had to play hardball in football. The Bolts offered him a 5-year extension, but the average salary of the deal would have taken him to just 8M a year, and the five years was not guaranteed, and guaranteed money was limited. Of course he would turn it down.
His demands were just as stupid. No one gets a pay raise from the 5.6M he was making to 14M, the top money the top backs were getting this season. He built a barrier in the talks by the demands.
And just as stupid, the ‘trade me’ demand.
The Chargers wanted a 1st round pick for him. No NFL team would trade a #1 pick to rent a player for one year, unless they could reach an agreement on an extension. And no one was going to give him that big pay bump from the 5.6 to 14M level. And no one would trade for him, at the the price of a #1, because once traded, the team that got him could not ‘franchise tag’ him next offseason, per the CBA rules.
It’s typical Team Spanos. Mis-play the hand. Treat the star player poorly. Lose games in the process. Any number of top Chargers players have always had problems with the team getting deals done. The team always got hurt,, from recent 1st round pick Joey Bosa, going back years and players before that.. And the team always lost games during holdouts.
So Gordon comes back, four weeks into the season. Long term damage? We find out. Short term damage, on a team that could have been (3-0), not (1-2) with a very tough schedule still to come.
Holdout over…but damage likely to linger. No one won in this one. Not the Bolts, not Gordon, surely the fans of the team.