By most accounts, Melvin Gordon’s time as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers has been nearing its end for some time now. Ever since his holdout at the beginning of the 2019 season ended without a new contract, he’s appeared to be operating on borrowed time in Los Angeles.
However, as we inch closer to the start of free agency, it not only appears that there is a chance for Gordon to return as a member of the Bolts in 2020, but that he would be preferred if the head man in Los Angeles has his way.
Chargers Hope to Re-Sign Melvin Gordon
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn appeared as a guest on PFT Live on Tuesday where he was asked about running back Melvin Gordon and the prospects of potentially resigning the impending unrestricted free agent this offseason. Lynn’s response was:
“We love Melvin. He’s outstanding,” Lynn stated. “He held out last year, that hurt us a little bit, but when he came back his attitude and the way he fit right back into the locker room was typical Melvin. We’d like to have him back, but it’s free agency and you never know what’s going to happen.”
Does Gordon Remaining in LA Make Sense?
The likelihood of Gordon returning to the Chargers in 2020 seemed far fetched after the team refused to hand the running back a new contract in the midst of his holdout. It also didn’t help Gordon’s case that from a statistical standpoint, his “back up” Austin Ekeler, who is younger and cheaper than Gordon, not only produced up to Gordon’s typical level but exceeded it drastically.
A year ago Gordon was looking to be compensated as one of the league’s prominent backs. However, after a campaign in which he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, his fourth season of fewer than 4.0 yards per carry in his five year NFL career, his financial value on the open market will likely take a major hit.
Yet, Gordon’s struggles in 2019 could work in the team’s favor if they still value Gordon in high-regard, a player that they once upon a time used a first-round draft selection on.
Gordon will be 27-years old at the start of the 2020 NFL season. Were he to opt to return to Los Angeles, he’d have a chance to work in unison with Austin Ekeler, likely expanding his career as a viable option out of the backfield and potentially re-establish his market value if he were to take a short-term deal.
The Chargers are currently in the midst of drastic turnover, as this upcoming season will mark the first time in 14 seasons that Philip Rivers will not be under center come game time. Holding onto a player of Gordon’s caliber could be crucial to helping develop and speed up the learning curve for the new quarterback in Los Angeles, whoever that may be.
Retaining an above-average running back talent who’s well-liked in the locker room and still on the right side of 30-years of age mark seems like a win for the Chargers, that is, if he comes at the right price.