2. Defensive end is more important than running back
Positional value is why Gordon’s holdout was doomed from the start. Running backs simply aren’t valued in the league. Whether they should or shouldn’t be is another debate, but it’s simply hard to justify paying a running back a lot when a franchise can get relatively similar production from a backup or draft pick.
Defensive end is way more important than running back. This is something I’ll touch on in greater detail later, but we just saw how Joey Bosa got paid. Edge rushers are simply more valuable than they’ve ever been, especially when they’re effective pass rushers.
Ingram is also good against both the pass and the run, unlike Jadaveon Clowney. That’s not a diss on him either, but Clowney is more of a run protector than he is a pass rusher at this stage of his career.
He racked up seven sacks, 49 tackles, 12 quarterback hits and 11 tackles for loss in 2019. While Uchenna Nwosu looked decent in Ingram’s three-game absence with the hamstring injury, there’s no real evidence yet that he could do that over a 16 game sample size.
The LA Chargers may be inclined to replace Ingram in the long term, but there’s not much evidence Nwosu could do it over a 16 game sample size yet.
Simply put, it’s easier to replace Gordon with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson than it is to replace Ingram with Nwosu or some of the other options on the team. Perhaps the team can afford to take the blow of losing Ingram better now with Bosa signed, but it’s simply not something they’re prepared for in 2020 or the immediate future.