COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Melvin Gordon is expected to end his holdout soon but the Los Angeles Chargers running back’s timetable to report remains undetermined.
Two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Gordon has not decided when to end his holdout. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because they weren’t at liberty to publicly discuss negotiations. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Gordon is expected to end his holdout on Thursday.
Coach Anthony Lynn said he hasn’t heard from the fifth-year running back, who has been absent since the start of training camp due to a contract dispute.
“Right now, those are all hypotheticals. I’ll cross that bridge when it gets here,” Lynn said. “Right now, my focus is on getting this team ready to go to Miami.”
Gordon was slated to make $5.6 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. That amount decreases by approximately $329,412 for each game he misses. Gordon is also subject to fines of up to $40,000 under the collective-bargaining agreement for each day he missed training camp.
General manager Tom Telesco suspended contract talks with Gordon’s agents until after the season. Gordon was seeking an extension of $13 million to $14.4 million per season, which was equivalent to deals signed by Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell. The Chargers offered around $10 million per year.
Players must be on the roster for six or more regular-season games to accrue a season toward free agency, meaning Gordon would have to report by the Nov. 16 game against Kansas City in Mexico City.
Gordon has gained over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons, but the Chargers offense has not sputtered in his absence. Austin Ekeler leads AFC running backs in yards from scrimmage and Justin Jackson is averaging 7.9 yards per carry.
Los Angeles is 1-2 for the second straight season but now faces three winless teams, starting Sunday at Miami before hosting Denver and Pittsburgh.
Even when Gordon does report, it might take a week or two for him to get back up to speed.
“I don’t think you walk in camp and just play right away. You can run and do all the drills you want but it is hard to simulate real football,” Lynn said.