Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon shocked the NFL world Thursday, telling the Chargers he would hold out if he doesn’t receive a contract extension.
But the truth is, everyone should have seen this coming. The 26-year-old Gordon talked about this exact scenario last season.
Last fall SI spent a game day with Melvin Gordon, and when asked by his dad, he shared his thoughts on Le'Veon Bell sitting out last season 👇 pic.twitter.com/YP6VYqp2mb
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 11, 2019
Given Gordon’s current situation, that clip is making the rounds quite a bit Friday. In it, Gordon and his dad are talking about Le’Veon Bell, who decided to sit out all of last season for a long-term deal.
When Gordon’s dad asks if Bell is going to sit out the entire season, Gordon says, “Yes sir. I would too.”
While the Steelers didn’t budge on Bell, the tactic did eventually land him a four-year, $52 million deal with the New York Jets.
If Gordon does actually hold out, he and Bell may have started a new normal for running backs. The league has de-empathized the position in recent seasons, so fewer teams want to pay elite money to running backs. Players, however, look at their usage and the beating they take each season, and believe they should be better compensated for taking those risks.
Should Gordon prove successful in getting a long-term deal, other running backs might follow suit in the future. Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliot’s contract expires following the 2020 season, so he could be next.
Cowboys fans might want to start digging through old footage of Elliot now to see whether he’ll hold out when the time comes.
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