One of the biggest what-ifs in recent LA Chargers history revolves around running back Melvin Gordon. Gordon infamously held out during the 2019 season in search of a new lucrative deal as the running back market was on fire at that time.
The Chargers and Gordon ultimately did not come to terms on a new contract and the Chargers signed Austin Ekeler to a four-year, $24.5 million contract instead. That contract was much more team-friendly than re-signing Gordon, as it was initially reported that the Chargers offered Gordon a contract between $10-11 million per season.
It was long accepted with this report that Gordon turned down a four-year deal worth $40-44 million. Melvin Gordon dispelled those rumors on a recent episode of the 'Bussin' with the Boys' podcast. Gordon said that the Chargers only offered him a two-year deal, not the four-year deal that was assumed.
"Everybody think they offered me a four-year deal but it wasn't a four-year. It was like a two-year. [...] There was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. It just didn't go how I thought it would be. "
Melvin Gordon explores a lot about his tenure with the LA Chargers in this interview.
Melvin Gordon has talked about his contract situation with the Chargers before but he really dove in deep in this podcast episode, explaining his mindset during his last two seasons with the Chargers and his reasoning for the holdout.
Gordon has not had a great relationship with Charger fans, to say the least, since his holdout and departure from the team. In the interview, Gordon explained how the fans turned on him not only during his holdout and afterward, but after his rocky rookie season as well. Gordon does not paint Charger fans in a great light in the article.
The former Bolts running back explained that he was mostly playing for his teammates in the last year of his deal. Gordon shares a tidbit about Antonio Gates crying after losing the 2018 AFC Divisional Game against the New England Patriots and Gordon did not want to give Philip Rivers that same farewell. Gordon explains he was playing for Rivers and the players, not so much the fans or organization.
While Gordon is talented, it is definitely better for the Chargers that he turned down the $10 million deal, even if it was only for two years. Austin Ekeler would not have had the breakout season that he did, gotten the contract that he did, and could be on another team entirely as we head into the 2022 season.
Regardless of your personal feelings toward Gordon, the podcast episode is a really interesting one, especially regarding the LA Chargers.