LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: 5 things we learned about the Bolts this offseason

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 29: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

3. The LA Chargers view Austin Ekeler as a legitimate RB1

The LA Chargers had a big-name running back hit free agency this offseason and simply let him walk. Melvin Gordon signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos after holding out and having a disappointing season with the Bolts in 2020.

Ironically, the Chargers extended Austin Ekeler to a contract worth more than Gordon’s, showcasing that the team was not only fine with Gordon leaving but that they view Ekeler as a legitimate primary running back.

Ekeler has split time with Gordon his entire career and while he put together really good receiving numbers, it is safe to say that it was hard to gauge just how much the Chargers trusted him in being an RB1 heading into the offseason.

Not only did they lock him down for four years to prove that they are all-in on Ekeler, but they did not bite on any veteran running backs in free agency to help split the workload with Ekeler.

There will be a bit of a rotation with the addition of fourth-round pick Joshua Kelley as well as Justin Jackson, but Ekeler is likely going to get more of a workload than those two combined. If they would have gotten a veteran running back to split carries down the middle then it would have signaled the opposite.

Ekeler is one of just three running backs in the 2000s to have over 900 receiving yards in a season but he has never had 600 rushing yards in a season. It will be interesting to see just the kind of impact that Ekeler can have as the RB1.

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