LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon didn’t report to training camp on Wednesday and is officially a holdout as he looks to land a new contract.
The Chargers responded by placing Gordon on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. The team’s first official practice is Thursday in Costa Mesa, California.
Los Angeles general manager Tom Telesco said there is no ill will between the franchise and Gordon.
“I love Melvin Gordon,” Telesco told reporters. “He’s an excellent player. He’s tough. He has a great work ethic and represents our organization extremely well. But he’s not here.
“I understand his thoughts and opinions of what he’s going through. I always look at the player’s side, so I can see it. It doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I can kind of see what his thought process is.”
Telesco said Gordon was offered a new contract but that the team is ready to move forward behind the trio of Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome.
“I’m not naive: I know we’re better with Melvin Gordon,” Telesco said. “But we’ve got a strong group of guys that are here, and it’s their time to work and get ready to go.”
The Chargers also placed left tackle Russell Okung on the non-football injury list and linebacker Jatavis Brown (ankle) on the physically unable to perform list.
Telesco said that Okung endured a serious medical issue in June and is still recovering. He said the 30-year-old might miss all of training camp and possibly some regular-season games.
Okung is expected to discuss his situation with reporters on Thursday.
The Chargers also signed running back Derrick Gore on Wednesday. Gore participated in the club’s rookie minicamp during the spring.
As for Gordon, he is subject to fines up to $40,000 for each day of training camp he misses. He is in the final season of his rookie contract, and slated to make $5.6 million this season.
According to reports, the two sides are not close to a deal. Gordon said last week he was seeking a fair deal and knows his value.
Gordon’s agent, Fletcher Smith, said two weeks ago that Gordon would not report to training camp without a new contract. Smith also said that a failure to reach an agreement would result in a trade demand.
The Chargers were 4-0 in games Gordon did not play last season due to injury.
Gordon signed a four-year, $10.67 million deal as a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and in April, the Chargers exercised their fifth-year option for 2019. Gordon is seeking a long-term contract with guarantees.
The 26-year-old has scored 38 touchdowns over the past three seasons. In 55 career games, the two-time Pro Bowl selection has gained 5,205 yards from scrimmage.
Gordon did not attend offseason voluntary workouts with the Chargers but did report to minicamp in June.
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