Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler said his recent trade request from the Chargers had nothing to do with the organization in a Monday appearance on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast.
“I think it’s really important to put it out there that it’s not like, ‘Oh, I hate the Chargers and I need to get out of this organization, and I need to leave,'” Ekeler said, via Around the NFL writer Kevin Patra. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. I would like to stay if it was under the right circumstances.
“Obviously, I have one more year on my contract there, so I’m contractually obligated to play for them for this upcoming year. So, we’re in a situation where it’s like, look, we have no guarantees or anything like that this year, so kind of in a spot where I’ve been outplaying my contract, and we might have an opportunity to go seek out other options that can bring me up.”
Austin Ekeler is in the final year of a four-year, $24.5 million contract he agreed to in 2020. His contract included $13.75 million guaranteed at signing, a $2 million roster bonus in 2020 and $1.25 million of fully-guaranteed money on March 20, 2022, according to Spotrac.
The 27-year-old running back, who signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Colorado University in 2017, played in 89 games and started in 54. According to Pro Football Reference, he reached ninth place in Offensive Player of the Year Voting after tallying 1,637 yards from scrimmage and 18 total touchdowns.
Ekeler said there was no timeline for trading him to another franchise.
“I feel like there’s no timeline on it,” he told Long. “I’m so underpaid right now as far as my contract and what I contribute to the team, it’s like, I am relentlessly pursuing this. I want to get something long-term done.”