In the midst of a major contract dispute, Melvin Gordon has reportedly requested a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers as both sides jostle for leverage in the negotiations.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported on Thursday that Gordon’s side requested a trade last week, although the Chargers didn’t bite much.
“Chargers RB Melvin Gordon’s agent Damarius Bilbo tells me he requested a trade last wk for his client, after the team remained at their initial offer of approximately $10M per year,” Anderson reported via Twitter. “GM Tom Telesco told Bilbo, Gordon is still family, but Bilbo was not given permission to seek trade partners.”
The team’s star running back has been holding out from training camp in search of a new deal, believing his talents warrant being paid among the elite backs in the league.
In four seasons since being taken with the No. 15 overall pick by the Chargers, Gordon has collected 3,628 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns. He’s also been one of the best receiving backs in the league, totaling 50-plus receptions each of the last two seasons and coming in a shade under 500 yards in both.
However, he has injury concerns, only played 16 games once in his career. Last season, Gordon played in just 12 contests, suffering an MCL sprain.
Currently, Gordon is set to make $5.6 million this season, which would put him as the 11th highest-paid running back. He’ll likely want to be paid close to what Cardinals RB David Johnson is getting, which is $13 million annually. Johnson is the third highest-paid back in the league, behind only Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley. That, however, might change with Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott also in search of a new, long-term deal.
The Chargers have reportedly offered Gordon a deal worth $10 million annually.
Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Detrez Newsome and Jeremy Cox are the players the Chargers would depend on if they shipped Gordon out of town.
Melvin Gordon’s Trade Value
Unfortunately for the Chargers, running backs haven’t fetched the biggest return in trades. Here are some of the most notable recent trades involving running backs.
- 2019: Eagles trade a sixth-round pick for Chicago’s Jordan Howard
- 2018: Browns get a fifth-round pick from Jacksonville in return for Carlos Hyde
- 2017: Oakland gets Marshawn Lynch from Seattle for a sixth-round pick
- 2016: Tennessee trades a sixth-round pick for Eagles back DeMarco Murray
- 2015: Bills acquire LeSean McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso
- 2014: Eagles trade for Saints’ RB Darren Sproles in exchange for a fifth-round pick
- 2013: Browns send Trent Richardson to Colts for first-round pick
Melvin Gordon Would Thrive in Miami
The Dolphins do not have a proven No. 1 option at running back and could use Gordon to jump-start the rebuilding process.
Kenyan Drake is currently slated to be the lead back. He had 173 touches, 1,012 total yards and nine total touchdowns in seven starts last season while splitting time with Frank Gore. Miami also has second-year back Kalen Ballage on the depth chart.
While Drake hasn’t been the same runner as Gordon, they have surprisingly similar receiving stats. If the Dolphins are high on Gordon and are willing to give him the deal he’s seeking, there’s a chance the trade is a swap of running backs with possibly a draft pick or two involved.
Melvin Gordon Can Bring Stability to Seahawks
It’s been a game of musical chairs at running back for the Seahawks since Marshawn Lynch left town.
Last season, Chris Carson became the team’s first 1,000-yard back since Lynch accomplished the feat in 2014. Thomas Rawls, Christine Michael and quarterback Russel Wilson had all taken turns leading the team in rushing in the previous seasons.
Seattle has seen some big names come off the books in recent years. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin retired this offseason, pass-rusher Frank Clark was shipped to Kansas City before getting a massive deal and Lynch “retired” before being shipped to his hometown Oakland Raiders.
It might take some cap magic from general John Schneider, with Wilson having the third-largest contract in the league and Bobby Wagner recently inking a deal that made him the highest-paid inside linebacker in the league.
However, the move would give the Seahawks one of the best playmaking backfields in the league with Wilson and Gordon, which would prove especially useful with Seattle’s thin depth a wide receiver.