It’s not uncommon to see contract holdouts at the beginning of training camps.
Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott, and Yannick Ngakoue have been some of the names that have or are currently holding out in hopes of a new contract for their respective teams. There’s one additional name to this list though that has huge ramifications for the fantasy football landscape; Melvin Gordon.
Gordon was a bit of a surprise holdout at the start of training camp for the LA Chargers and, up to this point, he still has not shown up at team activities. Based on recent news, if Gordon had his way, he would prefer to never show up again to Chargers training camp…
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon's agent Damarius Bilbo tells me he requested a trade last wk for his client, after the team remained at their initial offer of aprox $10M/ year. GM Tom Telesco told Bilbo, Gordon is still family, but Bilbo was not given permission to seek trade partners.
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 1, 2019
Gordon simply knows that it’s difficult for running backs to ultimately get paid what they deserve to be paid. If the Chargers are unwilling to give him the guarantees in his contract that he wants with a new deal, he’s willing to go play for another team to make that happen. Since Gordon is one of the top-tier running backs available for fantasy football, this is where it gets interesting…
Where would Melvin Gordon be traded? Let’s look at a few possible destinations.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s no secret that the Buccaneers are not exactly thrilled with the level of talent that they currently have at the running back position. Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, and Andre Ellington don’t exactly keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night.
Adding Gordon to this running back room would be a huge boon for that offense under Bruce Arians. The last time that Arians had a talent like Gordon, we saw David Johnson finish as the RB1 that season with insane numbers.
|Rushing Attempts/Yards||Rushing TD's||Targets||Receptions/Yards||Receiving TD's|
While this would be the ideal match for fantasy football purposes, it’s unlikely to happen due to cap restraints. The Buccaneers currently only have an estimated $2 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.com. This leaves very little, if any, room for Gordon and his estimated asking price. While their 2020 salary cap opens up quite a bit, they would have to be very creative with how they structure Gordon’s deal this season after a trade.
The Bills are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. They’re extremely well-coached and their defense is not talked about enough when it comes to upper echelon units. With that being said, their theme of this offseason has to been to support second-year QB, Josh Allen.
They’ve bolstered their offensive line and brought in receiving options in John Brown and Cole Beasley. They’ve also made attempts at bolstering the running game with guys like Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and the rookie from FAU, Devin Singletary. While LeSean McCoy is still there on the roster, he’s shown signs that he may be at the end of his career and he carries a huge cap hit this season.
The Bills could bring in Gordon via trade and sign him to the extension he’s looking for easily. The Bills want to be built around the run game and taking the pressure off of Allen to carry the team. While this would cause hope for Singletary, McCoy or Yeldon to die out from a fantasy football point of view, it makes a lot of sense for the Bills to bring in a top-tier back like Gordon.
A combination of Allen and Gordon could lead to some beautiful things for fantasy football.
The Houston Texans have an estimated $38 million in cap space available for the 2019 season. The offense is already dynamic and explosive with players like Will Fuller, DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee, and Deshaun Watson. Adding Gordon could potentially take this offense from very good to great.
— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) October 29, 2017
This is all contingent upon whether or not the Texans feel supremely confident in D’Onta Foreman and his recovery coming back from an Achilles injury. While there’s a reason to be optimistic that Foreman can be good in the NFL, we have yet to see it due to injuries. Lamar Miller isn’t the long-term answer in Houston and Gordon would bring another weapon in the passing game for Watson to target.
This makes sense for the Texans to pull the trigger on, but will they? We might find out soon enough.