The Chargers can finally focus on preparing for the upcoming season as the biggest cloud over their offseason has finally dissipated following a re-negotiated deal for running back Austin Ekeler that will pay him almost $2 million in new incentives during the 2023 season.
Earlier this year, Ekeler and his agent asked permission to seek a trade following stalled negotiations for a contract extension. After it seemed like little to no progress had been made over the past few months, it looks like the two sides came together just in time for the Chargers to hit OTAs without a massive priority weighing on their shoulders.
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 will return for what is likely his final season with the Chargers this year following a two-year stretch where he lead the NFL in total touchdowns scored with 38. It remains to be seen just how utilized he will be in Kellen Moore’s offense, but it’s hard not to imagine the young offensive coordinator continuing to utilize one of the most-effective playmakers in all of football.
Even before this news broke, Brandon Staley expected Ekeler to participate in the offseason program at some point, but this rightfully puts any doubts to bed with the two sides now firmly on the same page ahead of another season with sky-high expectations.