There are less than three weeks remaining until the 2019 regular season and Chargers stars Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers have murky contract situations.
Fortunately, there have been some updates and somewhat positive and optimistic news for Gordon, Rivers, and the Chargers.
The latest update on Gordon still has some optimism but is far less positive on the forthcoming Rivers update. According to ESPN’s NFL insider, Adam Schefter, the Chargers and Gordon have not made any progress towards a new deal. Schefter does hear that Gordon wants to return for the regular season, but he is prepared to hold out if he does not get an offer that he likes.
Chargers and Melvin Gordon have not made progress towards a new deal, per sources. Gordon still wants to return in time for the regular season, but he is prepared to sit out if no new deal is reached, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 15, 2019
Gordon, 26, was a first-round selection of the Los Angeles (but then-San Diego) Chargers back in 2015. A dominant ball-carrier and pass-catcher, the young star has appeared in a pair of Pro Bowls (2016, 2018).
Last season, Gordon started just 12 games but still posted 14 touchdowns — 10 from the ground game and four from the passing game. He had 175 carries for 885 yards, plus 50 catches for 490 yards. All-time throughout his career, he has started 52 games in appeared as the backup in three more, rushing 897 times for 3,628 yards and 28 touchdowns while catching 182 passes for 1,577 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Gordon is certainly a key piece of the Los Angeles offense and the AFC West is a tough division to lose a star, but the Chargers are fortunate to have one of the league’s best backup running backs in Austin Ekeler. A Gordon holdout would hurt but Los Angeles shouldn’t give in too much.
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Here’s some better news, Los Angeles. As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport writes, “Tom Brady won’t be the only franchise quarterback playing out his contract. Add Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to the list.”
Sources tell Rapoport that the Chargers and Rivers are comfortable with the perennial Pro Bowler playing out his current contract before the two sides address his status after this season. Rivers has started every game for the Chargers since 2006, and while he is a free agent after this year, the expectation remains that Rivers stays in L.A. and extends that streak beyond this season.
Rivers, 37, will earn just $16 million this season in the final stint of his four-year, $83.2 million deal. The contract experts at Spotrac have placed a market value on Rivers worth $31.2 million, and it is expected that he will earn that next offseason if all goes well this season.
All-time, Rivers has started all 208 games he has been eligible for since being drafted in 2006. He has completed 4,501 of his 6,970 passes thrown for a total of 54,508 yards and 373 touchdowns while only being picked off 177 times. The milestones of 5,000 completions, 8,000 pass attempts, 60,000 yards, and 400 touchdowns are well within reach for Rivers, and should all be reached either this year or next.
In 2018, Rivers was 347-for-508 for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns … and just 12 interceptions. His two fumbles were a single-season career-low (next lowest is three; highest is 15).
Rivers is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. There seems to be a peaceful mutual agreement between him and the Chargers to put talks on hold.