Austin Ekeler to stay with Chargers after incentives are added to contract

Chargers and running back Austin Ekeler agreed to add incentives to his contract that will see him return to the team.

COSA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers will have Austin Ekeler play out the final year of his contract as he has agreed to add about $2 million worth of incentives to his contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The terms of the incentives are unknown, but it seems like Ekeler and his representatives are satisfied with the terms that he will play with the team this season.

Ekeler and his team requested a trade when free agency began in March because they felt the running back was underpaid. He is set to make a base salary of $6.25 million this season, which is eighth in the NFL.

The running back produced two strong seasons in a row for the team. He rushed for 911 yards, added 647 passing yards, and scored 20 touchdowns in 2021.

In 2022, he rushed for 915 yards, 722 receiving yards, and scored 18 touchdowns. Counting the playoff game against the Jaguars, he has scored an NFL-best 40 touchdowns in the last two seasons.

The Chargers coaching staff and players have been asked about Ekeler not being happy with his current deal, and they have been supportive.

“The current state with Austin [Ekeler] is that he’s one of the top backs in the league over the last two seasons,” head coach Brandon Staley said Monday at OTAs. “He’s been a captain for us. We really have the utmost respect for him and the situation. It’s been respectful on both sides.”

Ekeler coming back means the offense will be whole again now, and the focus now shifts to the 2023 season.