As you may or may not have heard, the running back is, and if he can't get a new deal, he wants the Chargers to trade him. If neither of those things happen, then this situation could quickly get ugly. Gordon's agent has already said that the running back would be willing to if the Chargers don't meet his demands. According , that threat is very real, and as of Friday there's a chance that Gordon could end up missing a few regular season games if things don't get resolved.
The problem for Gordon is that he doesn't really have much leverage in his negotiations right now, and things might have actually gotten worse this week thanks to Philip Rivers.
During his first interview of training camp on Thursday, Rivers was asked about the running back position -- a group that includes Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Derrick Gore -- and the quarterback definitely didn't do anything to help Gordon's cause.
"They're going to get a lot of work," Rivers said of the other backs, via the Los Angeles Times. "It certainly is a deep position for us, and those guys all love to play and work hard. We love Melvin, but we're going to go with what we've got. It's a pretty dang good group."
When the quarterback says you have a "deep" group, that implies the guy holding out isn't necessarily needed, which might give the Chargers less reason to give Gordon a big contract. Once Rivers' comments became public, they surprised a lot of people, including Tyrann Mathieu, who had a one-word reaction.
Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who now works for CBSSports.com, also thought the comments were a little bit odd.
If Gordon's hoping to land a deal worth $10 million to $12 million annually, having his quarterback make it sound like he's easily replaceable definitely isn't going to help things. Another thing working against Gordon is that some people on the Chargers' coaching staff seem to like Ekeler better, at least according to a report from Ryan Phillips of the The Big Lead.
Although Gordon is coming off a highly efficient season where he ranked fifth in the NFL in total touchdowns with 14, there is at least one more thing working against him: The Chargers did just fine when he wasn't on the field. Gordon missed a total of four games in 2018 and the Chargers went 4-0 in those games.
As things currently stand, Gordon is headed into the final year of his rookie deal, which is scheduled to pay him a total of $5.6 million in base salary in 2019. Although it's not clear what Gordon's asking price is in a potential new contract, it's pretty clear the Chargers haven't come anywhere close to meeting it, and they might not have an incentive to if Rivers feels that Ekeler or Jackson can carry the load at a much cheaper price in Gordon's absence.