The contract impasse between Melvin Gordon and the Los Angeles Chargers appears to be moving in the wrong direction.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon told the Chargers he is prepared to miss regular-season games and demand a trade if a new deal isn’t done.
The two sides have reportedly exchanged proposals in recent days but don’t appear to be on the same page.
Gordon is in the last year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make $5.6 million. With his slated salary coming in below market value and running backs facing short NFL shelf lives, Gordon, 26, is looking to capitalize on his prime.
Philip Rivers touts ‘deep’ Chargers backfield
The Chargers are leaning on a running back stable that includes Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome in Gordon’s absence.
Quarterback Philip Rivers appeared to voice the team’s position on the holdout at Thursday’s training camp session.
“They’re going to get a lot of work,” Rivers said. “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.”
Shifting tone in impasse
The two sides have previously spoken on positive terms publicly.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco told reporters on Wednesday he understands what Gordon is thinking.
"I love Melvin Gordon," Telesco said. "He's an excellent player. He's tough. He has a great work ethic and represents our organization extremely well. But he's not here.
"I understand his thoughts and opinions of what he's going through. I always look at the player's side, so I can see it. It doesn't mean I agree with it, but I can kind of see what his thought process is."
Earlier in July, Gordon expressed his desire to remain with the Chargers.
“I want to end up with the Chargers,” Gordon said July 13. “That’s my home. I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go back to the Chargers, dah, dah, dah.’ Like, that’s the team that blessed me with an opportunity.
“But it’s an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. You know, I want to get paid. That’s just kind of what it is.”
With camp starting and pressure mounting on negotiations, it appears that things aren’t going so cordially behind closed doors.
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