COSTA MESA, Calif. — In the final year of his rookie deal, Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon said his representation has had preliminary talks with the team and he’s hopeful something can get done in the near future.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a deal done,” Gordon said while talking to reporters at the start of mandatory minicamp Tuesday. “But that’s not going to stop me from coming out here and doing what I need to do. We’re going to see. I would like to go out there and have it done. We’re talking right now, and that’s kind of where I’m going to leave it.”
While he is hopeful that a contract extension will be completed, Gordon did not dismiss the possibility of not playing in 2019 if no deal is consummated by the start of the regular season.
“I don’t know, man,” Gordon said. “I’m just trying not to talk about it. If it’s going to happen, it’ll happen. When it does, I’m pretty sure you guys will know.”
Gordon, 26, is scheduled to make $5.6 million in 2019. The 2015 first-round selection has 38 total touchdowns since the start of the 2016 season, trailing only fellow draft class running back Todd Gurley (46).
Gordon also tops the NFL with three consecutive seasons of at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Those impressive numbers helped Gordon earn two straight trips to the Pro Bowl. However, Gordon also acknowledged the running back position has been devalued of late, with workhorse backs such as Gurley, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell being the exceptions with lucrative deals.
However, both Gurley and Johnson struggled to stay healthy, and Bell sat out the entire 2018 season to preserve his health so he could earn a high-dollar deal in free agency.
“It’s an issue with everybody else,” Gordon said. “But I know my value. I know what I bring to this team, and I’m sticking with that. Todd’s paid, so Todd don’t care what anybody says right now — him or David Johnson — they can say what they want to say. They signed the dotted line.
“But unfortunately I haven’t yet, so I’ve got to take the heat for some of the stuff that they’re going through. But I’m not them, and like I said, I know my value.”
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn echoed Gordon’s sentiments.
“Melvin Gordon is extremely important to us,” Lynn said. “When he’s out here on the field, he works his tail off. He’s gotten better every year that I’ve been here. I think he’s headed in the right direction. If he just goes out and keeps doing what he’s been doing, that contract stuff will take care of itself.”