Melvin Gordon’s holdout with the Los Angeles Chargers will not end with a new contract.
General manager Tom Telesco said during a conference call on Sunday that the team has informed Gordon’s agents that they have suspended contract talks until after the season. The Pro Bowl running back is on the did not report list after missing training camp and the preseason.
The Chargers — considered one of the contenders in the AFC to reach the Super Bowl — host Indianapolis in the Sept. 8 season opener.
‘‘We have to get focused on the season and our next opponent,’’ Telesco said. ‘‘So when or if Melvin reports, he’ll play this season on his current contract, and we’ll just revisit it after the season.’’
Gordon would make $5.6 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. He is seeking an extension in the neighborhood of Todd Gurley, David Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell, who average between $13 and $14.4 million per season. The Chargers have offered a contract that would average around $10 million per year, but the sides have remained at an impasse.
Gordon has gained over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons. He was sixth in the AFC in yards from scrimmage (1,375), ninth in rushing (885 yards) and scored 14 touchdowns last season as the Chargers made the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
But Gordon also has something in common with the other three running backs — injury issues. He missed four games late last season due to a knee injury and struggled after coming back, averaging 2.9 yards per carry compared to 5.2 yards pre injury.
Los Angeles will go into the season with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson as its running backs.
Ekeler, who is going into his third season, has been a good change-of-pace back when paired with Gordon but has struggled when he has been the starter. Ekeler is averaging 5.3 yards per carry in regular-season games, but that falls to 3.3 in the three games where he was a starter last season when Gordon was injured.
Jackson came on late last season as a rookie with three games over 50 yards. He started Week 15 at Kansas City and had 58 yards on 16 carries.
Telesco expressed confidence in Ekeler as an every-down back, but also thinks Jackson will get his share of carries.
‘‘I think the day and age of having to have one running back to carry it 300 times is probably not the smartest thing in the world anyways,’’ he said. ‘‘Even if you have a big bellcow back, you’d like to have another back to come in and spell them.’’
Flores: We’re not tanking
First-year coach Brian Flores has been saying it since March and said it again Sunday: The Miami Dolphins are not tanking in 2019. The claim sounded less convincing after Miami parted with three veterans in deals that netted mostly draft picks.
Even before the Dolphins swung the two weekend trades, they were widely expected to be among the NFL’s worst teams. The departures of left tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills, and linebacker Kiko Alonso, who made a combined 137 starts in 2016-18 for the Dolphins, increase the likelihood they’ll bring up the rear this year.
Alonso was traded to the Saints on Sunday for journeyman linebacker Vince Biegel. The trade was the latest payroll-cutting move by the Dolphins — Alonso was due to make $6.5 million this year.
The deals also make it more probable the Dolphins will go first in the 2020 draft, which fits neatly with the need for a franchise quarterback as part of the rebuilding project ordered in January by owner Stephen Ross.
So are they tanking?
‘‘No, we’re not,’’ said Flores, in his first season in Miami after serviing as an assistant with the Patriots. ‘‘We’re going to try to win every game. It’s disheartening to hear people even say that. For a guy who respects the game, as much as the game has done for me, when people say that — they shouldn’t say it.’’
Chiefs add McCoy
LeSean McCoy is going from a rebuilding franchise in Buffalo to a Super Bowl contender in Kansas City, and he’s reuniting with his close friend and former coach Andy Reid, too.
The Chiefs and the two-time All-Pro running back have agreed to a $4 million, 1-year deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because McCoy must still pass a physical, which could be completed as early as Sunday.
That would allow him the week to prepare for the Chiefs’ opener in Jacksonville next Sunday.
McCoy would become the top backup to Damien Williams, likely siphoning carries from rookie Darwin Thompson and backup Darrell Williams. The Chiefs traded the other veteran running back that was expected to earn carries, Carlos Hyde, after he failed to impress during training camp and the preseason.
The 31-year-old McCoy spent his first six seasons in Philadelphia, four of them under Reid, before spending the past four seasons with the Bills. The six-time Pro Bowl selection was released on Saturday.
Jets add kicker Vedvik
The Jets addressed their kicking woes by adding a kicker who had his own struggles this summer. Kaare Vedvik was claimed off waivers from the Vikings, replacing Taylor Bertolet, who was waived. Vedvik, 25, a native of Norway, was acquired by Minnesota last month from Baltimore and missed three of four field goals while punting five times for an average of 45.2 yards for the Vikings. He was released by Minnesota on Saturday . . . The Bears signed Pro Bowl offensive lineman Cody Whitehair to a five-year contract extension through the 2024 season. ESPN reported that it was worth $52.5 million and includes $27.5 million guaranteed. Whitehair was in the last season of his four-year rookie contract. He has started primarily at center but will switch this season to left guard, where he started two games during the 2017 season . . . The Denver Broncos were awarded four players off waivers, including quarterback Brandon Allen from the Rams, who will serve as Joe Flacco’s backup with rookie Drew Lock out with a sprained right thumb. Also awarded to Denver was tight end Andrew Beck from New England . . . The Seahawks finalized their trade for standout pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, sending two players and a 2020 third-round pick to the Houston Texans. The Seahawks sent veteran former first-rounder Barkevious Mingo and second-year pass rusher Jacob Martin to Houston. Mingo was moved to defensive end during the offseason after spending the past few seasons playing outside linebacker. Martin, a sixth-round pick in 2018, showed flashes of potential in his rookie season but had just three sacks and was going to be a situational pass rusher this season . . . Bears coach Matt Nagy announced that Eddy Pineiro will kick in the team’s regular-season opener against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. Despite the lengthy offseason position battle, Nagy exuded confidence in the kicker. “He deserves it,” Nagy told reporters. “He earned every right to be our kicker.” After parting ways with Elliott Fry last month, it appeared Pineiro won the coveted gig, but Nagy then reiterated the competition remained open. The Bears acquired Pineiro via trade from the Oakland Raiders in May . . . Veteran cornerback Joe Haden and the Steelers have agreed to a three-year, $32 million contract that will keep Haden in Pittsburgh through the 2021 season . . . The Raiders claimed quarterback DeShone Kizer off waivers from the Packers. The move gives four quarterbacks for the time being with Kizer joining starter Derek Carr and backups Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman . . . The Jaguars placed veteran running back Alfred Blue on injured reserve more than two weeks after he hurt his left ankle in a preseason game.