Austin Ekeler requests permission to seek a trade

Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers
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Could Austin Ekeler be on his way out of Los Angeles?

Though he’s been one of the Chargers most productive offensive players for the last few seasons, he might be.

Ekeler has requested permission to speak with other teams about a trade, Ekeler’s agent Cameron Weiss told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ekeler is entering the last year of his contract and is set to make $6.25 million in base salary in 2023. Ekeler has been seeking a new contract but preliminary talks did not progress with L.A., which induced the trade request.

Entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Ekeler immediately displayed ability as a change-of-pace back behind Melvin Gordon. But in the last few seasons, he’s been the lead back and has been one of the most productive offensive players in the game.

Ekeler led the league with 20 touchdowns in 2021 and again led the league with 18 touchdowns in 2022. He caught a career-high 107 passes last year, though he tallied only 722 yards receiving. He also rushed for 915 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

The Chargers do not have to grant Ekeler’s request. But the club could do so to gauge the potential compensation it would get in exchange for the running back.

31 responses to “Austin Ekeler requests permission to seek a trade

  1. Chargers don’t pay running backs. They did the same thing to Melvin Gordon. Good luck Austin.

  2. Get your bag Austin, but aging running backs don’t get younger. 28yo and undersized, not much trade value there.

  3. These RB’s are delusional if they think any of them are getting big time contracts. Look where they are getting drafted….this isn’t 2004 anymore….

  4. Not a good look. Take care of your feature back. If anyone thinks you can just plug anyone off the street to mirror his production…Good luck

  5. Ekeler bet against himself as an RFA and took 24.5 over 4 for the security. They paid him 6.125 when he had 3 TDs in 2020 and 6.125 when he had 20 TDs in 2021. He could have signed a 1 year deal and then been a free agent after 2020 but he would not have gotten a big deal.

  6. Trade the guy. He doesn’t want to be in LA, so get somebody who does. This isn’t rocket science. Do you think Ekeler is going to be productive for a team he doesn’t want to be on?

  7. Underrated and underappreciated, but you also can’t pay a RB like him big money bc he’s always hurt and he can’t run in between the tackles for the hard yards.

  8. Going from undrafted to making 6.25 is pretty good for a RB, but the top paid guys at that position are getting 10-12. Ekeler probably deserves to be paid somewhere in between.

  9. The chargers have always been one of the worst franchises, i mean cmon even Eli Manning refused to play for them.

  10. Kansas City! Kansas City! What an amazing 1A complement to Pacheco’s 1B. I assume it would never happen because they are in the same division.

  11. His production looks great on paper, but when I’m watching meaningful/important games, he’s nowhere to be found. Or out with an injury…

  12. Can someone explain to me how exactly a player (and his agent) engages with others teams about a trade? It’s not as if he controls what his current team is wiling to accept in return. Legit question here, just curious to know how that works.

  13. Tough situation for the bolts and ekeler.

    He’s been a beast with them and really been the straw that stirs the drink.

    But, he is a running back, he is his age, and the chargers are the chargers.

    Does he deserve a payday? Yeah he’s got a great argument.

    That being said, RBs are truly a dime a dozen in today’s game.

    Tough call.

  14. Oh, hey, it shouldn’t be any problem replacing a back who caught 107 passes, eh Chargers?

  15. This guy balls so hard for that team and has 4-5 good years left. They should pay him 8m/yr. I could totally see teams trading for him.

  16. He is a system running back similar to the Patriots running backs they have had over the years . I don’t blame him for wanted to get traded and a big pay day . Sure some team will overpay for him

  17. Unfortunately,running backs have a short lifespan in the NFL. Ekler is one of many good ones who will probably be on the move.

  18. It’s crazy how de-valued the RB position has been in the last 5-10 years.
    Now it’s receivers (other than QBs) who demand the big bucks.

    I guess the whole “Run the ball to open up the pass” theory has changed, eh?

    The staple for decades used to be “Play solid defense, run the ball” and that would lead to playoff and Championship football.

    The changes to rules regarding passing and protecting QBs and WRs has led to a major change in the way the game is played.

    And the RB position is far less important. Unless you can also block and catch passes.

  19. Somebody must have told him his new OC doesn’t have a clue how to get him involved in the passing game. It’s strictly running up the gut, and shots at your knees from here on out.

  20. brady1515 says:
    March 13, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    He is a system running back


    What does this even mean? Can you give some more examples of a “system running back”?
    Can you name some examples who AREN’T “system running backs”?
    I would appreciate the feedback. This would be my chance to learn something completely new.

  21. He’s undervalued and underappreciated. I bet his team mates are horrified he could leave.

  22. Love Eckler,… I’ve used him many many times on my daily fantasy teams and he almost always produces good numbers. If the Chargers don’t appreciate him,… I’m sure another team would.

  23. Kind of stumped by a player who could have waited and become a free agent but instead signed a four year contract with a team. He is being paid as one of the top 20 running backs in the league with $7 mil this year but maybe he is chasing the McCafferey and Kamara big payday. It will be interesting to see if anyone gives him that big contract

  24. He won’t get paid by the Chargers but he will get paid by another team. Trade him and gets something for him….he wants out

  25. The Chargers may let him go to try to get Henry … Ekular is worth 10 million a year with his ability to catch passes …

  26. Ekeler may have initially bet on himself. But he outplayed the current contract he’s signed to. The Chargers should have the foresight to give him more money and security. If not, trade him and get some value back instead of trying to Vincent Jackson him.

  27. There’s a reason that Justin Herbert, as physically gifted of a QB as any in NFL history has not progressed at near the rate of his contemporaries in Mahomes, Allen and Burrough. It’s the Chargers, it’s the ownership. Doesn’t matter the sport, when looked at over time, teams effectively mirror their ownership. It’s why teams like the Steelers, Patriots and Ravens always are reasonably competitive (very smart owners) and other teams (Browns, Cardinals, Lions, Texans) are almost always at the bottom, clueless ownership. Doesn’t matter the sport, always the same. Staley is a decent enough HC but they have a once in a life time type talent in Herbert and they’re just pissing it away. But it’s what teams like the Chargers do, what they always do. Yankees mirrored Steinbrenner, Lakers mirrored Dr. Jerry Buss, Cowboys mirror Jerrah, and so on. The head of the snake is the key, always has been, always will be.

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