Tom Telesco announces Melvin Gordon’s contract talks will be postponed

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 27: Melvin Gordon
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 27: Melvin Gordon /

It seems as though the standoff between Melvin Gordon and the Chargers will continue, per Tom Telesco.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco announced on Sunday via a conference call that Melvin Gordon would not receiver a new contract until the end of the season, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Chargers’ GM Tom Telesco said on a conference call today that any contact extension talks with holdout RB Melvin Gordon will be postponed until after the season.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2019

This comes a day after it was reported that the Chargers had given Melvin Gordon permission to seek trade partners:

Some potentially big news for the #Chargers: They have given the reps for Melvin Gordon permission to seek a trade, sources say. He’ll explore his options, which include returning. But big few days.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2019

Seemingly at this juncture, Gordon will remain a Charger, unless he’s able to find another trade partner that gives the team what they want in a deal. Telesco has been playing hardball with Gordon all offseason, sticking at the reported $10 million per year the Chargers were willing to offer in a contract. He hasn’t gone higher, and not offering a new contract until the end of the season is an escalation of management’s hardball with Gordon.

Frankly, it’s the right move. With the value of the running back, the Chargers need to be reasonable with what they offer Gordon. This move, in combination with yesterday’s news, allows the Chargers to allow Gordon to seek trade partners and see what they’re offering. If they offer Gordon a deal and the team some good compensation for Gordon, they can deal him. If the market on a Gordon trade is less active, it’s possible they can freeze him out and force him to take their deal.

If Gordon does play for the Chargers in 2019, it would be under the fifth-year option, per Telesco. This seems pretty unlikely though. When Gordon plays, it will be under a new deal, considering how dug in his camp has been. It’s also possible this could be less a statement of fact and more a negotiation tactic on the part of Chargers management.

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With the 2019 season rapidly approaching, it’ll be interesting to see how the Gordon holdout plays out, especially when it comes to Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson during games. Will they increase or decrease Gordon’s leverage with good or bad performances? That’s a big question. The biggest narrative is whether Gordon and the Chargers can both get what they want in a trade partner. That will be when the holdout actually starts to change, one way or another.