Melvin Gordon regrets holdout with Chargers and admits he 'ruined some relationships'

Melvin Gordon is living proof that holdouts don't automatically result in more lucrative deals with your current franchise. The former Chargers running back, who was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, captured headlines earlier in 2019 after he held out in hopes of landing a deal with Los Angeles that would put him among the highest-paid players at his position. He reportedly was offered a longterm deal by the franchise that would have paid him a bit north of $10 million annually but was later turned down. That proved to be a misstep on multiple fronts. 

First, Gordon sat out through Week 4, which opened the door for fellow running back Austin Ekeler to prove he can be a more than capable feature back in Los Angeles' offense. Then, once Gordon finally got to market this offseason, rich deals that would put him in that upper echelon of running back in the NFL simply weren't there. He did end up inking a two-year, $16 million deal with the Denver Broncos. On top of the financial ramifications, Gordon did admit during on conference call on Friday that he does have some regrets for how his holdout went down, specifically from a legacy standpoint.

"I probably would come back," Gordon said, via NFL.com. "Just because my legacy of what I'm trying to do as a player and the mark that I'm trying to leave. Obviously, those are games I can't get back. I started out slow and being able to catch my stride toward the end of the season, but then it's too late. I would say more so for my legacy and what I can do for a career as a player more so than anything else."

Upon his return to the team, Gordon totaled 612 yards on the ground with eight rushing touchdowns and hauled in 42 receptions in the passing game. While that's modest production over a 12 game stretch, Gordon did feel like things had soured with the team because of his holdout. 

"I mean it was tough but, I definitely felt like I ruined some relationships," he said. "It's all part of it. Obviously, you try your best to kind of put that aside and go out there and still give it your all. That's what I tried to do. At times it definitely was difficult. You kind of felt some tension. Well, I kind of felt some tension walking around, but I just tried my best to keep a smile on my face and just show up for work every day. Like I said it was difficult and challenging, but I got through. Obviously, I can't take back what I did. What I did was done. And now I'm here."

In Denver, Gordon now joins a backfield with Phillip Lindsay, who is fresh off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Broncos, and will get to face his former Chargers squad twice a year in the AFC West. Surely that latter point will give the 26-year-old even more motivation heading into 2020. 

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