During his pre-draft press conference on Monday, Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said the team plans on picking up the fifth-year option on workhorse running back Melvin Gordon ’s rookie deal.
“I think right now the plan is to exercise the option,” Telesco said. “But right now we’re just focused on the draft.” Gordon had his best season as a pro in 2017, topping the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his three-year NFL career.
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The University of Wisconsin product played a full, 16-game season for the first time as a pro, finishing with a career-high 1,105 yards and 12 total touchdowns.
Gordon’s 1,581 total yards from scrimmage last season ranked fifth in the NFL. Gordon finished with a career-low one fumble in 2017 after fumbling eight times during his first two years.
“The way he finished the season, I’m very comfortable (with Melvin Gordon),” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I thought he was one of the best runners in the game the last four weeks. It just seems like the bigger the game, the better he plays.
“We’re going to have to monitor that knee a little bit. He was gimpy at the beginning of the season, I think, because he maybe pushed too much in training camp. Being around him for a year and knowing what he can handle, we’ll just have to do a better job of that. I’m very comfortable with Melvin Gordon.”
Only Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott (25) had more touchdowns than Gordon’s 24 total touchdowns over the last two seasons. Gordon, 25, has totaled 2,743 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
Gordon is scheduled to make $1.9 million in 2018 in the fourth year of his rookie deal.