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Austin Ekeler asking permission to seek trade after extension talks stall

Ekeler’s 2023 cap hit of $7.5 million would rank 11th among NFL running backs.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Chargers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

In some of the biggest news on day one of the legal tampering window, running back Austin Ekeler is reportedly asking permission to speak with other teams about a potential trade after initial talks in regards to a contract extension have shown zero movement. The news comes straight from the mouth of his agent Cameron Weiss to ESPN.

Following the 2019 season, the Chargers wisely signed Ekeler to a contract that he’s vastly outperformed over the past two seasons. After playing for $4,250,000 and $5,500,000 during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, respectively, Ekeler is set to play on a salary of just $6,250,000 in 2023. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t want to be the NFL biggest bargain after scoring 38 touchdowns over the past two seasons.

For context, the next closest player in that span has just 26 touchdowns. Ekeler wants to get paid like the player he’s become and I can’t say I blame him, even if parting ways will be incredibly unfortunate.

Since joining the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Ekeler has career totals of 3,727 rushing yards, 34 touchdowns, 3,448 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns through the air.