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Melvin Gordon Says He Regrets 2019 Holdout With Chargers

Melvin Gordon's holdout with the Chargers last summer didn't go exactly as planned.

After missing the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season, Gordon never got a new deal in 2019 and Los Angeles let him walk in free agency this offseason.

During a conference call with reporters on Friday, the new Broncos running back said he would handle his holdout differently if he could go back in time.

"I probably would come back," Gordon said, per "Obviously, those are games I can't get back. I started out slow and being able to catch my stride toward the end of the season, but then it's too late. I would say more so for my legacy and what I can do for a career as a player more so than anything else."

Entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2019, Gordon sought a new contract but passed on the deal the Chargers offered him for around $10 million per season. During his absence, Austin Ekeler developed into a key member of the Chargers' backfield, and once Gordon returned he recorded a career-low 612 rushing yards with just nine touchdowns. He also added only 296 receiving yards, his lowest total since his rookie season.

Los Angeles went on to sign Ekeler to a four-year, $24.5 million deal in early March, while Gordon agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with Denver last week.

Gordon said he felt people started criticizing his talent during his holdout, but he intends to prove them wrong this season.

"A lot of people were saying, 'Oh, he's an average back, he's not this, he's not that,'" he said. "I'm going to take that and I'm going to use it as fuel, because I know what type of player I am, and I want to show that. I want to show that, and I am going to show that. I'm going to show everybody that I'm better than just average."

Analysis from ChargerReport: Melvin Gordon's comments about regretting last year's protracted holdout are nothing new. The Pro Bowl running back said as much in October when he told reporters he "won't miss another training camp again." While Gordon cares about how the NFL has devalued his position, he also acknowledged how the missed practice reps affected his play early in the season. Ultimately, Gordon is a team player and wants to avoid a situation like that again.