5 Chargers who are likely entering their last year with the team
4. Austin Ekeler
This is not going to be a popular one among the fans as Austin Ekeler is one of the most popular players on the entire Chargers roster. Ekeler has been a touchdown machine, leading the league in total touchdowns the last two seasons (and it is not even close).
Ekeler has been the most consistent scoring presence on the Chargers and definitely adds value to this offense. That being said, we have to be realistic about the future with Ekeler and his long-term prospects with the Chargers.
Running backs do not have a long shelf life in the NFL and the entire reason why the Chargers worked out a deal with Ekeler early was so they could avoid overpaying him in his later years when the production dips. Ekeler will be a free agent after 2023 and will be 29 at the start of the 2024 season. That is the perfect time to part ways with him.
While Ekeler still had a lot of value last season, we already started seeing some of that regression with him running the football. The Chargers had one of the worst rushing offenses in the sport and while it does not all fall on Ekeler, he is certainly part of the blame.
Maybe there is a path in which Ekeler takes a cheap team-friendly deal and transitions back into being an RB2. But if he is getting decent offers on the market then the Chargers will have to move on.