Austin Ekeler requested permission to speak to other teams for a potential trade on Monday morning. On Wednesday, the Chargers granted their running back permission to seek a trade after both sides failed to reach an extension, according to Ekeler’s agent Cameron Weiss.
Ekeler is going into the final year of his four-year $24.5 million deal he signed in 2020 and is owed $6.5 million, which isn’t in the top 10 running backs in the NFL. His annual average value is 15th in the NFL.
He has been the Chargers’ workhorse since Melvin Gordon left in free agency in 2020.
The Chargers running back has touched the ball 757 times for 4,218 total yards and scored 43 touchdowns (including the playoffs) during those three years. In the last two seasons alone, he has scored 40 touchdowns.
It is unknown what the market will be for the running back because as of right now there hasn’t been much movement for backs in free agency. Teams should be interested in the back because he is a dual threat with his ability to run the football and his pass-catching talent.
This may represent the last chance the running back has to receive one final big payday, especially with him turning 28 in May.
It will be interesting to see what the Chargers do moving forward because they have drafted a running back in the last three drafts, and none have been able to take over as that second back on the team.
Now they could potentially lose their starting running back, so the next few days the team and Ekeler will see what his value is around the league.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.