We Should Expect that Melvin Gordon Will Not be a Charger in 2020
Throughout the summer, and even after Melvin Gordon demanded a deal or a trade, it felt like an inevitability that the Los Angeles Chargers and Melvin Gordon would reach a deal on an extension that would keep him with the team for a long time. I wrote earlier in the month why I didn't think that was a good idea, and it seems as if Tom Telesco and the Charger's front office agrees.
Adam Schefter reported today that the two sides are not close on a deal and an end to Gordon's holdout is not expected soon, but rather could extend into the regular season.
I initially thought that Gordon and the team would figure out a way to get a deal done that both sides could stomach, but I've now come to the firm belief that Gordon will either be traded before the end of training camp, or, at the very least, on a new team via free agency in 2020.
There is still a pretty good chance that Gordon will suit up and play for the Chargers this season. For his own sake, it will need to be sometime before week 10 - which is the cutoff for accruing a year towards free agency. However, if that happens, we should not expect Gordon's donning of a Charger's uniform to be permanent. If Telesco allows Gordon to miss games (of a season in which his team has Super Bowl aspirations), I cannot imagine a scenario in which he then caves and gives Gordon a deal he would sign. Likewise, if Gordon is willing to forgo paychecks for the games he misses, it doesn't seem logical that he would then sign an extension that he could have had all along.
What I'm trying to say is, Gordon missing games hurts both sides. If both sides are willing to let that happen, they are too far apart to ever get this deal done. The longer these things go on, the more frustration and hard feelings are built up.
Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will likely be carrying the load for the Chargers for a big, if not all, of this season. Like I said earlier in the week, I believe the offense will need to adjust to more of a short passing game on early downs in place of runs. Throw short passes to Ekeler and take advantage of what he does best. They don't have another Melvin Gordon on the roster. So, there's no sense expecting someone to play his role.