Austin Ekeler has been the subject of trade talks after announcing his desire for a more lucrative, long-term contract. Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley addressed the Chargers' intent to keep Ekeler at the annual NFL meetings, reports CBS' Jamey Eisenberg.
“We want him to be a part of our football team…we'll be patient. But we love Austin Ekeler.”
This should come as welcome news for Chargers fans, as Ekeler has established himself as one of the top running backs in the NFL over the last few seasons. Fanbases across the league would revel in the opportunity to add an explosive ballcarrier to their offense.
What makes Ekeler such an effective playmaker is his ability to impact the game both rushing and catching the football. He was the Chargers leading receiver in 2022 with 107 receptions, with Joshua Palmer the next leading receiver at 72 receptions.
Along with his ability to impact multiple facets of the game, Ekeler has an uncanny nose for the end-zone. He is coming off of back-to-back seasons with over 15 touchdowns, with an unreal 20 touchdowns in the 2021 regular season.
Ekeler entered this off-season as the key piece of the Chargers offense, and made it clear that his value is not reflected in his current contract. He wants to stay in Los Angeles, but believes the Chargers should shore up their commitment to him with a contract reflecting his elite play.
For now, Ekeler's future team remains up in the air. Whether it be under Brandon Staley or somewhere else next season, Ekeler will look to continue his recent string of elite production from the running back position.