Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has requested a trade. However, he insists he actually doesn’t want to leave the team and simply wants his salary to match his output.
Ekeler has been stellar over the past two seasons, leading the league with 20 total touchdowns in 2021, when he also rushed for 911 yards and made 70 receptions for 647 yards.
He was just as effective last season, again leading the league with 18 total TDs and rushing for 915 yards, a career-high. Ekeler caught a career-high 107 passes for 722 yards too.
“Scored 20 touchdowns last year, 1,600 all-purpose yards. Right. Like, and I can’t get an extension?” he said during an interview on Green Light with Chris Long, clearly bemused. “Like, you don’t want me here? Like, wait a minute. Am I missing something here? What am I missing? It’s confusing and frustrating at the same time.”
“It’s not like, ‘Oh I hate the Chargers and I need to get out of this organization. And I need to leave.’ Like, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he explained. “I would like to stay, if it was under the right circumstances. For me, it’s like, if there’s an opportunity to get more value, why would you not jump on that?”
Ekeler should be fully aware of the fact that the running back position is no longer one in which players make top dollar, yet he isn’t your typical RB as he operates like a hybrid, excelling in both the running and receiving game.
He’s pretty similar to San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey, who signed a four-year deal to the tune of $64 million in 2023. While McCaffrey is younger than Ekeler, he’s also missed lots of time due to injury – Ekeler is by far the more durable player.
“I feel like there’s no timeline … I’m so underpaid right now, as far as my contract and what I contribute to the team,” he pointed out. “I am, I am relentlessly pursuing this. I want to get something long-term done. I want a team that wants me long-term. I’m at the peak of my game.”
The Chargers have since granted the 27-year-old permission to speak with other teams.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.