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On Thursday morning, Adam Schefter broke the news that Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon will demand a trade if he does not receive a new contract. Gordon is expected to make $5.6M in the final year of his current contract.
Although there has been virtually no progress towards a new deal, Gordon is making a mistake by demanding a trade out of Los Angeles.
To start, take a look at the bottom of the NFL when it comes to team rushing yards per game. In relation to the bottom twelve teams, the only teams that could really utilize Melvin Gordon include the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
Even then, when have the front offices in Detroit and Green Bay been willing to give a payday to their running backs? Theo Riddick is making $4.6M for the Lions in 2019; 15th among running backs. As for Jamaal Williams, he is scheduled to make $786,498 on his rookie contract this year; 63rd in the league.
What has Melvin Gordon done to stand out? He has never led the NFL in rushing, and the Chargers were 15th in rushing in 2018. From a player who has eclipsed 1,000+ rushing yards once in four seasons of play, it’s rather odd to think Gordon has any sort of leverage.
In case Los Angeles does somehow move on from Gordon, don’t forget about Austin Ekeler, who averaged 5.2 yards per attempt in 2018. In addition, the 24-year old accumulated 958 total yards in 2018; only 417 less than Gordon.
Running backs are becoming less valuable as time goes on, despite superstars such as Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliot becoming centerpieces for their respective franchises. If Melvin Gordon believes he holds any leverage moving forward, he may be mistaken.
Featured Image: Jake Roth, USA Today Sports