Melvin Gordon feels like the forgotten holdout running back of the 2019 NFL season after the only thing he got for his troubles was a million dollar in fines from the Los Angeles Chargers, while Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys become the league’s highest paid running back. For his part, Gordon says that being slighted will only serve to motivate him when he takes the field this weekend for the first time, and the running back promises to remember who said what about him during his failed holdout.
Speaking on Friday ahead of his team’s AFC West divisional game against the Denver Broncos, Melvin Gordon said this to the media: “I’m definitely motivated. No one cared that Melvin Gordon was out. It was all about Zeke. And it ain’t no hate. That’s America’s Team. But some players on talk shows, they care less to talk about it. You got people in your corner, and they in your corner one second, and the next second they’re hating on you. You got a lot of people hating on you. The best way to do that is to go shut them up. I remember what everybody said.”
Perhaps Melvin Gordon didn’t take into account the fact that Ezekiel Elliott is a better running back than he is before assessing who received more air time during their mutual holdouts. Elliott has run two rushing titles in is first three seasons in the league, and during the 2017 season, he still averaged more yards per game than every other running back in the NFL, including Gordon.
It would be unfair to say that Gordon would not have made a different for the Chargers during his holdout where he missed the season’s first three games and wasn’t active for the fourth. In their two wins against the Colts and at the Dolphins, Los Angeles posted 30 points, where as in their two losses, at the Lions and home to the Texans, the team posted 10 and 20 points respectively. Perhaps now with a better running attack, the offense will play better, and Gordon can prove his worth to the team.
The best thing for Melvin Gordon to do ahead of his free agency next spring is to prove his self-proclaimed haters wrong by lighting up the stat sheet and scoreboard over the next 12 games, since this will be his last chance to demonstrate that he is a franchise running back in the mold of Le’Veon Bell, who’s own free agent contract was Gordon’s stated goal during his holdout. Along the way, perhaps too, Gordon can find a way to help the Los Angeles Chargers win a few games, which will likely only enhance his value on next year’s free agent market