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Bolts From The Blue - All Posts An Unofficial Los Angeles Chargers Blog Created By The Fans, For The Fans

  • Melvin Gordon: Teammates “got his back” on contract dispute
    by Jamie Hoyle on July 18, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is at it again. Just 24 hours after suggesting the team would “cave and pay me”; Melvin sat down with ESPN’s Sam Alipour for a one-on-one interview. Alipour took the opportunity to ask Melvin about how his holdout was being received by his teammates and fellow NFL running backs. Regarding his teammates, Melvin said, “They’re all behind me. They all got my back.” He would go on to say, “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.” When asked about the response from his fellow running backs, Melvin said, ”A lot of running backs have reached out to me just saying go out and get what you deserve.” Unlike his “cave and pay me” comments yesterday, there isn’t really a great deal of groundbreaking news here. National Football League players almost always support each other in these situations, especially teammates. With the average NFL career lasting roughly three years, everyone is looking to make as much money as they can in a short time, and they all realize they may need similar support at some point in their careers. It’s also important to remember Melvin’s holdout is still just a threat at this point. Training camp doesn’t start until July 25, so Gordon hasn’t missed so much as a workout, let alone a practice or game. In other words, he isn’t really absent yet, and the team hasn’t really been hurt by said absence. It’s easy to support what, at the moment, is a theoretical hold out. Let’s see how many teammates support him if he still hasn’t reported by week four or five of the regular season. And no one should be surprised that other backs around the league have offered their support over the last week. Why? Because they all assume Melvin getting paid will directly benefit them when their time comes. Of course they’re going to encourage and support him when they have nothing to lose and so much to gain. If you ask me, this was a wasted opportunity for Sam Alipour and, especially, for Melvin Gordon. Alipour lobbed a few softballs and Melvin beat out a few swinging bunts. Nothing new was learned, no new blood was drawn, and I’m not even sure Melvin got any real mileage out of the chat. But hey, at least his teammates and fellow running backs support him. […]

  • Melvin Gordon believes his teammates support his holdout
    by Jason Michaels on July 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Gordon doesn’t feel alone in his holdout for higher pay The news of Melvin Gordon’s potential holdout through training camp has been one of the most largely-reported NFL stories over the last two weeks. While this is, indeed, a time of few headlines, there is also the added interest of following the evolving relationship between running backs and their current and future contract writers. Recent fan polling has indicated that roughly 2⁄3 of fans are siding with the Chargers against paying Gordon like a top-5 running back, but it is also important to note that there are no concrete details that he is asking for that. The sticking point could be guarantees, it could be contract length, it could be total amount, or it could be deferred payments... or any number of issues. The fact of the matter is that Gordon’s camp feels that he is worth more than the 5.6 million he’s set to receive this year, and the potential replacement contract offered to him was less than he feels he’s earned. Beyond those points, no numbers or specifics have been credibly released. This image and caption have almost nothing to do with this story.ESPN’s Sam Alipour sat down with Gordon to talk about his demands, and he had some interesting tidbits to tell. He announced that he had given his teammates a heads-up on his demands, and they said that they support him. “They’re all behind me. They all got my back. 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 then began to say that other running backs have offered their support as well. “A lot of running backs have reached out to me just saying go out and get what you deserve. A lot. A lot of starters. A lot, a lot of backs.” For fans of Gordon’s play, he softened up a little bit by mentioning that he would much prefer to stay in powder blues. “Just because we’re going through contract issues right now doesn’t mean I want to get traded,” he said. “I love being a Charger. I don’t want them to feel like I don’t want to be there.” So there you have it— Melvin Gordon is still set on holding out, and he seems aware that this could be a long process with some collateral damage along the way. Having the support of his teammates and others at his same position will surely help him as he navigates these tricky waters, but it’s also worth mentioning that his stance isn’t currently costing the team any wins or forcing contract restructures for other players. There is a long way to go before we see the end of this story, and it certainly sounds like Melvin Gordon is prepared to keep his foot down for the long haul. -Jason “Running my mouth” Michaels […]

  • Chargers 90-in-90: CB Brandon Facyson
    by Michael Peterson on July 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Brandon Facyson was the lone defensive back signed as a UDFA following the 2018 NFL Draft. For many, he was one of the heavy favorites to be signed and continue the team’s streak of 22 years in a row where an undrafted free agent made the team. The Chargers looovvveeee their defensive backs and often can’t get enough of them. And if you’re an undrafted free agent? Forget about it. Your chances of making the team skyrocket. All you have to do is see guys like former safety Jahleel Addae and cornerbacks Trevor Williams and Michael Davis. When the team’s media team puts out buffer pieces on a guy, it’s usually not just noise. In his first year with the team, Facyson played in every game, including the postseason games, besides one (he was inactive). His highlights include a recovered fumble on kickoff coverage, four total tackles on the year, and throwing a block for Desmond King’s 33-yard punt return against the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round of the playoffs, which was the longest punt return in franchise history. Facyson played five years at Virginia Tech. In 2014, he received a medical hardship waiver that allowed him to gain a year of eligibility after playing in the team’s first three games. As a freshman in 2013, Facyson was named a third-team All-ACC performer and a first-team Freshman All-American after he totaled 31 tackles, five interceptions, and eight pass breakups. After his medical hardship season, Facyson returned to start 10 of 12 games and finish with another 27 tackles and 10 pass breakups. He set career-highs during his redshirt junior season with 48 total tackles, four for loss, 11 PBUs, and a pair of forced fumbles in 14 starts. As a senior, he started 11 of 13 games and finished with just 19 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and five more passes broken up. He finished his career with a whopping 39 PBUs, likely giving the Chargers a notion that he has a knack for always being in the right position. Basic Info Height: 6-2Weight: 197College: Virginia TechExperience: 1Years with team: 1 Contract Status “Brandon Facyson signed a 3 year, $1,720,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $10,000 signing bonus, $10,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $573,333. In 2019, Facyson will earn a base salary of $570,000, while carrying a cap hit of $573,333 and a dead cap value of $6,667.” - Spotrac.com The Good Facyson is the prototypical defensive back that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley loves to use in his Cover1/3 defense. Length has always been his calling-card and when you looked at guys like Richard Sherman (6-foot-3) and Brandon Browner (6-foot-4) in that vaunted Legion of Boom, you saw what a cornerback duo with that size could do. Although the top two guys on the roster are below 6-foot, the last several defensive backs signed as UDFAs have been at least 6-foot-2 (Davis, Facyson, and Jeff Richards). It’ll be interesting to see if Trevor Williams rounds back into his 2017 form, but if not, Facyson could find his way into some more playing time if they decide to rotate a little more with Davis in there as well. The Bad After snagging five interceptions as a freshman while at Virginia Tech, Facyson failed to get his hands on another takeaway his entire career. Yes, he racked-up quite a few pass breakups but being able to get your hands wrapped around a few of those can help separate the good players from the great players. He’s obviously shown enough to stick around with the lack of collegiate production so I don’t think it’ll be too much of an issue going forward but hopefully secondary coach Ron Milus can coach up those hands. Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019 Facyson should be one of the safer bets to make the final roster as the team will likely keep a good amount of corners. Off the top of my head, he should be the fifth corner kept behind Casey Hayward, Desmond King, Williams, and Davis. As for 2019, I expect his role to grow ever-so slightly but stay roughly within his role as a main special teams contributor. Fun Fact: Facyson graduated from Northgate High-School early so he could enroll at VaTech in time for spring drills. He was named the top defensive newcomer for his efforts throughout the team’s multiple spring scrimmages. […]

  • Is Melvin GorDone in LA? A potential trade for Melvin Gordon
    by Garrett Sisti on July 17, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports A realistic trade option for the Chargers running back. The Melvin Gordon contract saga has taken another turn with Gordon essentially doubling down on his potential in-season holdout saying he thinks the Chargers will cave and pay him or a team will be willing to trade for him. With no current end in sight here’s a potential trade that benefits both sides: The Proposed Trade: -The Lions get RB Melvin Gordon -The Chargers get RT Rick Wagner and a 6th round pick Why the Charger do it One of the weakest parts of the Chargers current roster is at right tackle, the team gets an immediate upgrade in Rick Wagner. Wagner is one of the better pass blocking right tackles in the NFL. With both the Ravens and Lions, Wagner has never missed more than three starts over the last five seasons. Wagner’s deal ends in 2022 so the Chargers O-Line is seemingly fixed for the future and Rivers gets some protection help. The downside is Wagner is turning 30 this season and he has a cap hit of $11.9M the next three years but his contract has a potential out in 2020. Meaning, if things don’t work out between Wagner and the Chargers the team can outright cut him or use it as a bargaining chip to renegotiate his current deal. The team won’t be boxed in financially and would give the Chargers an opening for potentially signing other internal free agents with the money they would’ve had to pay Melvin Gordon. Why the Lions do it The Lions get an upgrade at running back with Melvin Gordon over Kerryon Johnson. The team can now slide Tyrell Crosby, who they drafted in 2018, to right tackle who the team sees as having some real potential. The Lions offense has more firepower by adding Gordon and Wagner’s deal is off the books giving them room to add Melvin Gordon’s new contract which will bring in somewhere between $13-14M annually over the next 4-5 years. The tandem of Gordon-Johnson is a good potential 1-2 punch in the Detroit backfield. The Lions also throw in a late Day 3 pick to sweeten the deal. […]

  • Chargers 90-in-90: WR Dylan Cantrell
    by Michael Peterson on July 17, 2019 at 12:47 am

    Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images One of the most exciting young players on the Chargers’ roster has yet to play a single NFL down. And no, I’m not referring to the prodigal son, Forrest Lamp. I’m obviously talking about Dylan Cantrell, the team’s sixth-round pick in 2017 out of Texas Tech University. “But Michael, he was hurt and then still didn’t see the field after he recovered.” SILENCE! For the first week or so of training camp last year, Cantrell was performing like a practice All-American before he suffered a bone bruise in his leg, which brought an abrupt ending to all the momentum he had from day one. However, thanks to Tyrell Williams’ departure up north, there is a shot for Cantrell to stake his claim as the team’s third wide receiver behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. After all, Cantrell’s skill-set that he exhibited at Texas Tech fits nicely with how Philip Rivers like to march down the field: chucking it up to his big-bodied wideouts and giving them a shot to come down with the rock. As a former four-star recruit from Whitehouse, Texas, Cantrell found playing time as a true freshman during the 2013 season, snagging just nine passes for 70 yards and a single touchdown. In his sophomore campaign, he was a little more productive but still wasn’t a focal point in the offense. He finished 2014 with 312 receiving yards and a pair of scores on 20 catches. Prior to the 2015 season, Cantrell suffered a back injury that forced him to take a redshirt year in the middle of his career. When he came back the following year, he was a versatile fixture of the offense that included current NFL wide receivers Keke Coutee (Houston Texans) and Derrick Willies (Cleveland Browns). He finished 2016 with 58 catches for 675 yards and eight touchdowns. As a senior, he put a nice bow on his career by notching career-highs in catches and receiving yards with 71 and 816, respectively. He also finished with seven touchdown catches and a rushing touchdown. Basic Info Height: 6-3Weight: 226College: Texas TechExperience: 1Years with team: 1 Contract Status “Dylan Cantrell signed a 2 year, $1,050,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $525,000. In 2019, Cantrell will earn a base salary of $570,000, while carrying a cap hit of $570,000.” - Spotrac.com The Good Cantrell was one of the most trusted targets for quarterback Patrick Mahomes while at Tech. The tall, uber-athletic receiver possesses excellent ball skills and elite hands at the catch point. Whether it was Vincent Jackson. Malcolm Floyd, Tyrell, or Mike Williams, Rivers has loved being able to chuck it downfield to his sizable receivers. Cantrell can be the next guy in line to kick-start his career catching passes from Old Man Rivers. He only has to beat out veteran Geremy Davis and hyped UDFA wideout, Artavis Scott. The Bad It should worry some that Cantrell was unable to find himself in the rotation once he got healthy later in 2018. In the end, it could be summed-up to the team simply not needing him with the top-4 guys on the depth chart being so solid. Odds of making the final roster/What to expect in 2019 I fully expect Cantrell to make the final 53-man roster as the team will likely keep at least five, and more likely six, wide receivers on the roster. Following Allen, Williams, and Benjamin, I expect the final three to be Cantrell, Scott, and Davis, and not specifically in that order. My expectations are for him to see minimal playing time in some of the less important games until he proves he can be trusted more and more. Fun Fact: Cantrell and current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes were teammates while at Whitehouse High-School. […]

 

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