Chargers RB Melvin Gordon Revisits Contract Holdout, Discusses Philip Rivers' Possible Departure
Jason B. Hirschhorn
MIAMI -- In the time since Melvin Gordon ended his contract holdout in late September of the 2019 season, the Los Angeles Chargers running back has taken a candid approach to discussing what actually transpired and what he might do differently in hindsight. That continued into Super Bowl week when Gordon spoke at radio row.
"I probably come to training camp or first game or week before the first game or something like that," Gordon said to USA Today, adding, "I didn't make anything. I just lost money."
Gordon staged a holdout at the outset of the 2019 season in hopes of securing a long-term deal with the Chargers, sitting out of all offseason activities, training camp, preseason games, and effectively the first month of the regular season. Gordon's debut at the start of October coincided with a month of rushing struggles for the team that culminated in the firing of longtime offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Gordon would turn his season around in subsequent months, but the Pro Bowl play he displayed in previous seasons never fully materialized.
The Chargers have not closed the door on re-signing Gordon, who will become a free agent in March. However, a crowded offensive backfield and pressing concerns at other positions could result in the veteran running back's departure this offseason.
"I have until Feb. 25," Gordon said of his impending free agency. "They can tag, or franchise tag. So, they still somewhat have rights. But we'll see."
In addition to Gordon, the Chargers also have to decide on the future for their longtime quarterback. Philip Rivers, who has started more than 200 consecutive games for the franchise, also has an expiring contract and could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
"It'd be crazy," Gordon said of Rivers' possible departure. "It's hard to really picture the Chargers without Phil on the team. But to my knowledge he's still on the team. Me and him both. So, we'll see. Feb. 25 is going to be a big day."
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH