Melvin Gordon’s motivation: No one cared when I was out; it was all about Zeke –

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Melvin Gordon missed three games and didn’t play in a fourth. He held out, and for his trouble, lost somewhere between $1.063 million and $2.771 million. The Chargers running back still doesn’t have a long-term deal.

Ezekiel Elliott held out and didn’t miss a game, with the Cowboys making him the highest-paid running back before the season opener.

Which brings us back to Gordon, who will make his 2019 debut this week but split carries with Austin Ekeler.

“I’m definitely motivated,” Gordon said Friday, via Gilbert Manzano of the Southern California News Group. “No one cared that Melvin Gordon was out. It was all about Zeke. And it ain’t no hate. That’s America’s Team. But some players on talk shows, they care less to talk about it. You got people in your corner, and they in your corner one second, and the next second they’re hating on you. You got a lot of people hating on you. The best way to do that is to go shut them up. I remember what everybody said.”

He’s right, of course.

But Elliott is a better player and a more important player to his team than Gordon is. The only season Elliott didn’t win the rushing title was in 2017 when he served a six-game suspension, and Elliott still led the league in yards per game.

It’s why the Cowboys signed the star running back to a deal that averages $15 million a year.

Gordon, who has one 1,000-yard rushing season in his four seasons, might not find exactly what he’s looking for as a free agent in March. But Gordon will get the rest of his fifth season to make his case that he should be paid like Elliott is paid.

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