Running back Austin Ekeler still played for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2023 despite requesting a trade. With Ekeler now set to hit free agency, Los Angeles has made a franchise tag decision on their star running back.

The Chargers will not use the tag on Ekeler and instead allow him to explore free agency, via ESPN's Adam Schefter. Ekeler would make just over $11 million if he received that tag.

Los Angeles has completed changed their front office and coaching structure with Jim Harbaugh returning to the NFL. Perhaps that eases tensions between player and team. However, with neither side agreeing to terms, Los Angeles is prepared for Ekeler to see what is available in free agency.

The running back has spent his entire career with the Chargers after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2017. Over 103 career games, Ekeler rushed for 4,355 yards and 39 touchdowns. He added another 3,884 yards and 30 touchdowns through the air.

Outside of Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen, the Chargers' offense will be set for plenty of changes under Harbaugh. With Greg Roman to the offensive coordinator, there will be an emphasis on running the ball. But with contract talks falling apart, Austin Ekeler does not look like the running back who will be leading that attack.

During his time with the Chargers, Ekeler established himself as one of the premier dual-threat running backs in the league. Now set for free agency, the RB will look to prove he can still be a playmaking RB at the NFL level outside of Los Angeles.