Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon reportedly requested a trade from the team last week.
The holdout Pro Bowler is looking for a new contract that will make him among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL. For their part, the Chargers are said to be offering the oft-injured back $10 million per season.
This has led to a major impasse between the two teams. And if the Chargers were to trade Gordon, there would be a ton of interest in his services. Here’s a look at his five most likely landing spots.
As of right now, Indianapolis will be relying on the combination of Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins to hold down running back duties behind Andrew Luck. While there’s talent here, each player is unproven. Imagine giving Luck a Pro Bowl running back behind a vastly improved Colts offensive line. It would almost immediately shuttle the Colts to the list of Super Bowl contenders. Sure Gordon’s injury issues are a concern. But when healthy, he’s a top five running back in the NFL. You can’t say the same thing about these three youngsters.
Chicago’s decision to trade Pro Bowler Jordan Howard wasn’t necessarily too much of a surprise. It became apparent during the 2018 season that Howard was not a fit in head coach Matt Nagy’s offense. Nagy adores backs who can catch the ball. That’s why the team will be relying on Pro Bowler Tarik Cohen and rookie David Montgomery this season. It’s also why Chicago should show interest in Gordon. Having caught 182 passes in four NFL seasons, Gordon is a perfect fit in this offense. He’d also enable Cohen to move back to his versatile role as a catch-first back and potential slot receiver.
On the surface, teaming young breakout star Chris Carson up with former first-round pick Rashaad Penny would seem to work well for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Carson excelled to the tune of 1,300-plus total yards as a sophomore last season. Meanwhile, Seattle is expecting much more from Penny in his second season. That’s until we realize how dynamic a backfield consisting of Gordon and MVP candidate Russell Wilson would be. Teams simply wouldn’t be able to defend the two on a consistent basis, leading to potential Super Bowl contention in the Pacific Northwest.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones. Packers fans have been clamoring for this young back to be given more of an opportunity. The youngster put up 728 yards at a ridiculous clip of 5.5 yards per attempt as a sophomore last season. He should excel in first-year head coach Matt LaFleur’s system. Even then, the idea of teaming Gordon up with Aaron Rodgers has to be enticing to the Packers’ brass. Much like with Wilson in Seattle, it would create one of the most dynamic backfields in the NFL. We also know that Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has not been afraid to make bold moves.
Whether it’s veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick or youngster Josh Rosen under center in South Beach this season, Miami is going to need a solid running game to help out on offense. Most figured Kenyan Drake was going to earn the starting job. However, Kalen Ballage is already taking first-team reps in camp. It’s not a great situation for a team that will be relying on balance to succeed. Gordon would provide just that. In fact, Miami’s offense could be catered around Gordon while the team attempts to figure out its quarterback situation.