Melvin Gordon sat out the offseason in hopes of a new contract that never came. His holdout wiped out the first quarter of the 2019 campaign and seemed to affect the second quarter. Only in the last four games has he gotten churning.
With the Chargers all but mathematically out of the playoffs, questions beckon about where Gordon will play in 2020 and whether he'll get that contract he so desires. Has he proven he's worth top-dollar RB money?
"I don't know, man," Gordon said, via the L.A. Times. "It's hard to look and say you warrant anything when you're losing. I just have to do my job. No one knows their situation. It's the business side of things. I don't know if I'll be here or somewhere else. Hopefully, it is here."
"It kind of sucks because a lot of the goals I wanted to reach, individually and as a team, will not be attained this year," Gordon said. "It's unfortunate. A lot of hard work, in a sense, is wasted."
Gordon skipped the first three games of the season while holding out and was kept out of the Week 4 victory in Miami. After missing the first four weeks, it took the 26-year-old the next month to find his groove. His first four games back, Gordon was a walking inefficiency, generating 31, 18, 32, and 31 yards in those tilts, respectively, for a 2.5 yards per carry average, with one game of over 10 receiving yards and two total TDs. His fumble at the goal-line in the final seconds of a three-point loss at Tennessee in Week 7 perfectly summarized Gordon's return from holdout.
In the last four games, the back has gotten on track, generating 100-plus scrimmage yards in three of the past four bouts, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and has two performances of 99-plus rushing yards.
Gordon has one quarter left in the season to show teams he's closer to the back of late than the one that struggled to open his season.
"You are what you put on film," Gordon said. "Whether you want a deal here or you want to get a deal somewhere else, they're going to bring up that film, and it might come back to haunt you. So save yourself and go all out."
Even with free agency on the horizon -- unless the Chargers rock the boat by slapping him with the franchise tag -- Gordon won't hold back to try to save himself from an injury that could cost him money.
"A lot of times in college, you know you're not playing for a national championship, but you still go out there and give it your all," Gordon said. "I really don't see what the difference is now. When I go out there, I still want guys to respect me."
He also wants someone to pay him.
After a tumultuous 2019 offseason, Gordon's case will be one of the most interesting to play out in 2020. With a depressed running back market, will any team offer Gordon the type of guaranteed money he seeks, especially after seeing what's happened to David Johnson and Todd Gurley since they got paid? Stay tuned.