The Chargers have a headache on their hands with Melvin Gordon, just another reflection of how the franchise has been terrible with recent player contracts.
The Chargers are faced with another contract decision for one of their players, this time running back Melvin Gordon. Unfortunately, it’s a franchise with current general manager Tom Telesco running the show, who has been nothing but miserly as an extension of the notoriously stingy Spanos family.
What kind of franchise would be so cheap? Just look at these numbers:
- 2015: $5.6 million in available cap space (fourth-fewest)
- 2016: $8.7 million in available cap space (eighth-fewest)
- 2017: $10.3 million in available cap space (15th)
- 2018: $4.93 million in available cap space (lowest in the NFL)
- 2019: $10.96 million in available cap space (14th)
Gordon’s situation brings up another problem: They don’t pay their players! What a dirty, rotten franchise. Why draft or sign players they never intend to keep? All they’ve done since Telesco took over is:
- Sign Melvin Ingram to a four-year, $66 million extension
- Sign Casey Hayward to a three-year, $36 million extension
- Sign King Dunlap to a four-year, $28 million extension
- Sign Keenan Allen to a four-year, $45 million extension
- Sign Philip Rivers to a four-year, $84 million extension
- Sign Joe Barksdale to four-year, $22 million extension
- Sign Donald Butler to a seven-year, $51.8 million extension
The Chargers were stingy in free agency this offseason as well, proving once more how much they hate spending money. In the next two years, all they have to do is:
- Extend or re-sign Chargers legend Philip Rivers
- Extend or re-sign Pro-Bowl center Mike Pouncey
- Extend or re-sign All-Pro Adrian Phillips
- Extend or re-sign starting tight end Hunter Henry
- Extend or re-sign starting corner Trevor Williams
- Extend or re-sign Austin Ekeler
- Extend or re-sign depth players like Isaac Rochell, Jatavis Brown, and Michael Davis
- Extend or re-sign Pro-Bowl defensive end Melvin Ingram
- Extend or re-sign Pro-Bowl left tackle Russell Okung
- Extend or re-sign Pro-Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen
- Extend or re-sign Pro-Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa
- Extend or re-sign starting lineman Forrest Lamp
- Extend or re-sign starting kicker Michael Badgley
- Extend or re-sign All-Pro defensive back and returner Desmond King
Clearly, the Chargers were cheap this offseason and should have spent more money.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not serious with the title of this article: Telesco has not been shy about spending money, and if the Chargers don’t retain Gordon, it’s not because they were too cheap. Yet, that’s the recurring theme among many fans reacting to the Gordon news: The Spanos family and Telesco will be too cheap to retain their star player because they never pay their players. Sorry, but that’s factually incorrect, at least under their current general manager.
No, none of these numbers excuse previous issues with players like Eric Weddle, or any that came before Telesco like Rodney Harrison. What is listed above is not to try and prove contract disputes have never been an issue for the Chargers under their current general manager, but rather that the norm for this franchise under Telesco has been rewarding players signed or drafted by the team with an extension.
If Gordon is not given a new deal from the Chargers, it’s because they, like most franchises, do not value the running back position in the same way running backs and their agents want them to be viewed. Enough with the “cheap organization” comments. It’s a shame the players of yesteryear were not signed to extensions, but it’s not been the method of operation for the franchise since the team brought on Telesco in 2013.