Melvin Gordon-To Pay Or Not To Pay?

Things were going well for the Chargers this off-season. They had a solid draft, they added Thomas Davis, and most importantly their players were healthy. If you are a fan of the Chargers or a die hard NFL fan, then you know that when it comes to this team anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Just as the Chargers seemed to have everything going their way Pro-Bowl RB Melvin Gordon decided that he is going to hold out until he gets paid what he deserves (or at least what he thinks he deserves). Training Camp is well under way and there is still no sign of Gordon.

This is classic Chargers luck that the one season that everyone is healthy something would still go wrong for them. For a team that has been ridden with injuries and bad luck in recent years, this is another loss to add to the long list of woes for the Chargers. Is it really even a loss though? Will the Chargers still be Super-Bowl contenders? Let’s go over some statistics and see what we can find out.

Gordon is a good running back don’t get it twisted, but is he worth the money? 

No. 

In Gordon’s short 4 year NFL career he has only played one full season as well as only one 1,000 yard rushing season. He was coming off a season in which he missed 4 games and produced the fewest yards in his past three seasons. In the playoffs, Gordon was non-existent. In two games he rushed for a low 55 yards. Last season, Gordon was 17th in the league in rushing. Gordon has also never been a top 5 rusher. Gordon wants to be paid as much as the likes of Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell, but he hasn’t produced nearly as much. Not to mention, the Chargers went 4-0 last season without Gordon.

Le’Veon Bell last season had an almost identical situation. He felt he wasn’t getting paid what he deserved so he sat out. The Steelers would not budge and that cost them Bell for the entire season. Did this hurt the Steelers? Not really. The Steelers adapted to the loss of Bell. James Conner took the helm and produced fairly well. In his first year as a starter, he posted 1,470 total scrimmage yards as well as 13 total TDs. Compared to Bell’s 2017 campaign where he put up 1,946 total yards while scoring 11 total TDs. Bell may have had more yards but Conner scored more.

Let’s ignore the running backs for a little while and switch over to Ben Roethlisberger. Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s ability to adapt and get Big Ben more involved in the offense worked more in their favor last season. Ben threw for well over 5,000 yards which was almost 1,000 more than his previous season. Furthermore, his QB rating improved last year compared to his 2017 campaign. Ben filled the gap well. They were the 4th best offense in the league per ESPN and put up 400 more yards than they did in 2017 with Bell. If anything Bell’s holdout proved RBs to be replaceable in this league.

Philip Rivers is going to have to play a role similar to Ben Roethlisberger in order to make up for the lack of yards on the rushing end. Rivers is a future Hall of Fame QB who is more than capable. With all this being assessed it seems safe to say that Gordon isn’t worth the money. Although it would be a blow to the team, the Chargers need to focus on the future and make do with what they have. With Hunter Henry returning from injury and Mike Williams ready to take a larger role on offense, the Chargers should be just fine.

Christian Shotts

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