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Melvin Gordon: Teammates ‘all behind me’ amid contract standoff

Melvin Gordon and the Los Angeles Chargers are embroiled in a contract standoff as training camp looms, and the two-time Pro Bowler has indicated his teammates support him in the ongoing stalemate.

“They’re all behind me. They all got my back,” Gordon told ESPN this week. “They all told me, ‘You know what — we don’t really speak on contracts — but you just go and do what’s best for your family.’ And I’m glad I got that support from them.”

Gordon enters the 2019 NFL season playing out the final year of his rookie contract, a fifth-year option that will pay him $5.6 million. However, Gordon’s agent Fletcher Smith went public last week to relay his client’s unhappiness with the status quo, threatening that the running back will sit out of camp absent a new deal. Further, Smith indicated if the Charges and Gordon can’t come to terms, a trade demand will be made.

However, Gordon indicated last week that he hopes to remain with the Chargers despite the impasse, and he reiterated that stance again in this recent interview.

“Just because we’re going through contract issues right now doesn’t mean I want to get traded,” Gordon said. “I love being a Charger. I don’t want them to feel like I don’t want to be there.”

Gordon was among the contingent of NFL players who expressed support for Le’Veon Bell amid his protracted contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. He was asked if he envisions his situation with the Chargers reaching that level of acrimony.

“I’m prepared to do what I got to do, but like I said, I hope it doesn’t come to that,” he said.

Gordon skipped a majority of the Chargers’ voluntary offseason activities but attended the team’s mandatory minicamp. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be with the team when training camp opens on July 24 in Costa Mesa, Calif., but at this point things don’t appear promising.