Decision Made On Austin Ekeler's Future With Chargers
By Jason Hall
May 23, 2023
The Los Angeles Chargers have reportedly agreed to a restructured contract with running back Austin Ekeler, two months after he requested a trade, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Ekeler, who turned 28 in May, will get an additional $1.75 million in incentives added to his deal after initially being set to earn $6.25 in 2023, the fourth and final year of his $24.5 million extension.
"After an off-season in which he requested to be traded, star RB Austin Ekeler is staying in LA and having close to $2 million in incentives added to his deal for this season, per source. Win-win: Chargers keep their RB and Ekeler will be a free agent after this season at age 28," Schefter tweeted.
After an off-season in which he requested to be traded, star RB Austin Ekeler is staying in LA and having close to $2 million in incentives added to his deal for this season, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 23, 2023
Win-win: Chargers keep their RB and Ekeler will be a free agent after this season at age 28. pic.twitter.com/UYF2h9rSWq
Ekeler was absent from the Chargers' voluntary organized team activities on Monday (May 22), which was addressed by head coach Brandon Staley prior to the reported new agreement.
"The current state with Austin is that he's one of the top backs in the league over the last two seasons. He's been a captain for us," Staley said via ESPN. "We really have the utmost respect for him and the situation."
Ekeler's status for the remainder of OTAs has not yet been determined after he previously opted out last offseason due to other business pursuits. Staley did, however, say that the running back was "for sure" expected to attend the team's upcoming minicamp, which will begin on June 13.
Ekeler recorded an NFL-best 18 touchdowns, as well as a team-high 915 yards on 204 rushing attempts, while also recording 107 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns.