Melvin Gordon wants to make two things clear: He really wants a new contract, and he really wants it to come from the Chargers.
The Pro Bowl running back recently approached the team to request a new deal while noting he's prepared to demand a trade and not report to training camp. Gordon addressed his contract kerfuffle Saturday and stressed his desire to ink a new deal, specifically with the only NFL team he's ever known.
"I want to end up with the Chargers," he said at SportsCon, a sports convention in Dallas this weekend. "I mean, that's my home. I'm not going to sit here and be like, I don't want to go back to the Chargers. That's the team who blessed me with an opportunity. They changed my life. Out of all 32 teams, that was the team that called. I can't forget them for that.
"But like I said, it's an opportunity right now where I know I need to take advantage of it. I want to get paid. And that's just kind of what it is. Hopefully I end up a Charger, that's the goal. I want to end as a Charger."
The 26-year-old Gordon is set to earn $5.6 million in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, a figure that puts him 11th among running backs. Coming off a second Pro Bowl bid in three seasons -- one that saw him produce career highs in yards per carry (5.1), receiving yards (490) and touchdowns (14) in just 12 games -- Gordon believes he's due for a raise.
If he doesn't report when Chargers camp begins on July 24, he'll be subject to fines of up to $40,000 for each day missed, per the collective bargaining agreement. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported earlier this week there is a "strong possibility" Gordon holds out given where the two sides currently stand in contract negotiations.
"I'm prepared to do what I need to do. That's just what it's going to be," Gordon said.
As much as Gordon values being a Charger, he firmly believes in his own value as one of the most versatile backs in the NFL.
"You [saw] what happened when Zeke (Ezekiel Elliott) was out. It was a completely different team," Gordon said. "You could replace average backs, yeah, and just plug them in. But you can't just replace a great back. And people think you can do that. And it's just, you can't. It'll be a difference. It'll be a difference. We do so much for people to even try to devalue us. We block, we got to run the ball, we got to pick up protections, we catch the ball, we have to do what receivers do, we have to do our thing, we have so much that goes through us.
"I tell people, the hardest position outside of running back is quarterback, that's the only -- because you have to know so much. Outside of that, running back is the next hardest position on the field, and we should get paid as such."