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Chargers are looking for a first-rounder plus for Melvin Gordon

Melvin Gordon tried to play hardball with the Chargers, but L.A. has returned the favor and it appears that the Chargers are content entering the season without Gordon.

The Chargers don’t want to compensate Melvin Gordon like a high-end tailback. But they want to be compensated by another team for Gordon as if he’s a high-end tailback.

Per a league source, the Chargers have told at least one other team that the price for Gordon is a first-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

It’s not exactly the kind of price tag that is conducive to getting a deal done, because the new team also will be paying Gordon as part of the trade -- and he wants something in the range of $13 million per year.

If the Chargers value him as a guy who is worth a one and a five, that value should be reflected in their offers to Gordon. Conversely, if the Chargers view Gordon as a guy worth something like $10 million per year, they shouldn’t want a first-round pick, and more, from a team that also would have to pay him.

Maybe they don’t want a one and a five. Maybe it’s an opener. Maybe they’ll eventually come down. Maybe they won’t.

Ultimately, the Chargers can do whatever they want. They hold the cards, and they can sit and wait for Gordon to show up, get credit for the fifth year of his rookie deal, and then let him walk away as a free agent, sign him to a long-term deal, tag him, or tag him and trade him.