Los Angeles Chargers: Six free agents to avoid this offseason
The moment the Los Angeles Chargers re-signed Ekeler was the moment Gordon’s services were rendered useless. The NFL functions on an economy where paying running backs is generally discouraged. Look at the salaries of running backs on Super Bowl-winning rosters if you would like more proof of that.
Gordon isn’t a bad running back. He’ll likely go to another team and be relatively effective. But, with the breakout year Ekeler had, it’s hard to justify paying Gordon. The holdout definitely affected his output and statistics this season, but they don’t really explain the past. Of his five seasons in the NFL, Gordon has only averaged over four yards per carry once.
It’s possible to sign another running back in addition to Ekeler and Justin Jackson if the Chargers want to beef up the position as well. If a Gordon contract is expected to cost $11-13 million dollars, the Chargers could get Ekeler and a free agent like Jordan Howard for less than that cost. Someone like LeSean McCoy could also be a second or third-string running back for a cheap price.
Ultimately, Gordon’s financial cost just outweighs his value. GM Tom Telesco drew the line in the sand last year when he offered Gordon 10 million per season and wasn’t willing to go above it. With his mediocre production plus the Ekeler signing, Gordon simply doesn’t make sense for the future of the Chargers.