NFL Commerce Rumors: Austin Ekeler Requests Deal After Failed Chargers Contract Talks

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 14: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up prior to a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at TIAA Bank Field on January 14, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

Courtney Culbreath/Getty Photos

Important particular person running support Austin Ekeler has requested permission from the Los Angeles Chargers to discuss about with other groups a few commerce, his agent said Monday.

Constant with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cameron Weiss said the demand modified into made when contract extension negotiations did not progress.

It isn’t very identified if the Chargers intend to grant the demand.

Since signing with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Western Colorado in 2017, Ekeler has developed into one of essentially the most explosive and versatile running backs and offensive weapons in football.

Ekeler broke out in 2019 when he rushed for 557 yards and three touchdowns whereas atmosphere what were profession highs with 92 receptions for 993 yards and eight scores.

He ignored six games the subsequent season, however Ekeler has been a touchdown machine in every of the past two campaigns.

In 2021, Ekeler rushed for 911 yards and caught 70 passes for 647 yards. He led the league with 20 touchdowns from scrimmage.

He modified into heavenly as upright final season, speeding for a profession-high 915 yards and catching a profession-high 107 passes. He additionally racked up 722 receiving yards and as soon as all as soon as more led the NFL in touchdowns with 18.

Ekeler has become quarterback Justin Herbert’s preferred safety valve within the passing recreation, and he has been paramount in Herbert’s construction into one of many NFL’s high heed-callers.

In 2020, the Bolts signed Ekeler to a four-365 days, $24.5 million contract extension, which concludes on the pinnacle of the 2023 season. He has for certain outplayed that contract and certain earned a much bigger one this time around.

Ekeler will flip 28 in Might well also fair, and since most running backs are prone to decelerate by the age of 30, this can even fair describe his final likelihood to land a predominant deal.

Given his skill as a pass-catcher, Ekeler is more than a hotfoot-of-the-mill running support, and it’s far doubtless there is a disconnect between the 2 facets with Ekeler making an strive to be paid accordingly.

Top running backs don’t seem like paid as mighty as high huge receivers, so it might perchance perchance perhaps well hang sense for Ekeler to peek a contract that treats him more esteem a hybrid participant than a support.

The Chargers are not obligated to commerce Ekeler since he is below contract, and given his importance to the offense, it’s far complex to mediate L.A. will transfer him until he threatens to withhold out and not play in 2023.

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