Gordon arrives at Chargers' facility, ends holdout

ByEric Williams via ESPN logo
Thursday, September 26, 2019
ESPN

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- On a dreary Thursday morning in Southern California, running back Melvin Gordon arrived at the Los Angeles Chargers' facility as expected, ending his 64-day holdout.

Gordon was scheduled to go through a physical conducted by the team.

Players began arriving at the team's facility about 7 a.m. PT to start preparation for this week's road game against the Miami Dolphins.

Gordon is not expected to play Sunday, and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Thursday that the team (1-2) received a two-week roster exemption for the Pro Bowl running back, which means he will count on the roster in Week 6, when the Chargers are getting ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Los Angeles.

"I don't think you just walk in camp and just play right away without going through any practice," Lynn told reporters Wednesday. "You can run and do all the drills you want, but it's hard to simulate real football."

Gordon expects 2019 will be his final season with the Chargers, a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

He desires a contract extension that will put him among the league's top-paid running backs, such as Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell. The Chargers had offered Gordon a contract that would have doubled his salary to roughly $10 million annually.

On Wednesday, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said "it's been awhile" since he has talked to Gordon but that he looked forward to his return.

"I know it would be good to see him," Rivers said.

Gordon and his representation also have to resolve how they will handle the monetary fines that have piled up during his absence.

According to the league's collective bargaining agreement, as a player on his fifth-year option of his rookie deal, Gordon can be fined $30,000 per day for missing training camp, along with one week's regular-season salary for each preseason game missed -- a total of about $2.22 million. He can also lose $989,118 worth of base salary for missing three regular-season games. He can still earn $4,615,882 if he reports and plays on his contract.

The team will seek to collect the fines, a source told ESPN.

The Chargers are No. 13 in the NFL in rushing through the first three games without Gordon, averaging 112 yards per contest. Starting in place of Gordon, Austin Ekeler has 160 rushing yards and four total touchdowns.

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