Chargers’ Gordon could skip camp, demand trade without new contract

Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) rushes in a touchdown as New York Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson (57) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The agent for Melvin Gordon has informed the Los Angeles Chargers that his client will not attend the team’s training camp and could demand a trade unless he gets a new contract, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Chargers training camp is set to begin in less than two weeks.

The star running back is set to enter the final year of his contract and is currently set to earn roughly $5.6 million, which would make him the 13th-highest paid running back in the NFL for 2019.

Gordon ranks fourth in total rushing yards since 2016 and his 28 rushing touchdowns during that stretch is tied for second among all running backs. Per Schefter, the 26-year-old is unwilling to accept a deal “that does not put him near the salaries” of other top running backs like Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell.

Schefter explained that Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said they didn’t want to make a demand like this one, but negotiations had not been going well so “they felt it necessary to voice their displeasure in an effort to reach a more satisfying outcome, whether that is with a new contract or a trade.”

Another one of Gordon’s representatives, Damarius Bilbo, told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the two-time Pro Bowler is not bluffing.

“He’s very serious,” Bilbo said. “He’s worked his butt off and the fifth-year option is a result of where he was drafted. It’s what it is. But if we’d gotten a respectable offer, we wouldn’t be here. But he felt disrespected. He’s very serious.”

Gordon previously expressed concern during a mandatory June minicamp that he hadn’t yet gotten a new contract completed.

“We received an offer — talks had been dead — but we received an offer that wasn’t a fair offer based on what Melvin has done, where he was drafted, and how he’s performed, making two of the last four Pro Bowls,” Bilbo added. “It was disrespectful.”

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