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Melvin Gordon's Holdout Could Cost Him Over $2 Million

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 07: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on October 7, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Melvin Gordon will be okay. His bank account will have six zeros behind whatever number precedes it at the end of today (or at least it should). But he still cost himself a nice little chunk of change with his holdout.

As is the case for all NFL players, if you don't show up to work amidst a contract standoff, the team doesn't pay you your weekly game check. For Gordon, that will be a little over $989,000. More than that, however, he's also subject to fines, and, as Adam Schefter points out, those could be in the $1.2 million range.

The $989K is gone, but the Chargers don't have to fine Gordon the maximum amount. They can come to an agreement on a lesser number and perhaps did so as part of his anticipated return. But the fact is, Gordon took a seven-figure hit for a nine-month vacation (he will be fined something, taking that $989K number above the threshold) and it could wind up costing him more in free agency this offseason, depending on what happens the rest of the year.

Gordon reportedly wanted an extension that put him among the top-paid running backs in the league, which would be somewhere in the ballpark of $13 million on average. The Chargers were reportedly willing to pay him around $10 million.

It's understandable why Gordon, who has two Pro Bowls and a dual-threat attack few RBs possess to his name, wanted to get paid. And he is certainly going to get paid this offseason. But given his injury history (only played 16 games once in his four-year NFL career) and the fact that Chargers RB Austin Ekeler has been outstanding to start the season, it's unclear whether he'll be given the full-blown chance to shine this season, and if he does whether he'll be able to stay on the field. Both of those questions will factor into what he gets offered this offseason.

It's an interesting question, and one that won't be answered until the end of the season. But no matter what happens, Gordon cost himself money this season and is now fighting to prove he deserves more in the offseason.