One of the biggest storylines surrounding the LA Chargers during the offseason was Austin Ekeler's future with the team. After failing to come to terms on a contract extension that would also give him a raise this season, Ekeler requested (and was granted) permission to seek out a trade from the Bolts.
However, the barren running back market quickly made it obvious that Ekeler was not going to get what he wanted and talks came to a standstill. After weeks of no new updates, Ekeler and the Chargers agreed to a revised contract for the 2023 season with baked-in incentives that can earn Ekeler more money if he continues playing well.
Things might be a bit awkward between Ekeler and the team as they once again reconvene together. While it is nothing personal towards the players, Ekeler did not seem like someone who wanted to be a Charger in 2023. That still seems to slightly be the case as the star running back is giving off serious "I don't want to be here" energy as early as Chargers media day.
Austin Ekeler does not look like he wants to be on the LA Chargers
This is a short clip, sure, and a lot of things can be misconstrued from a short clip. But it does not take a rocket scientist to watch this and see someone who may not totally be happy with the situation that he is in this season.
And that is not even a leap to say that. Ekeler made it very clear throughout this entire process about what he wanted. He wanted to get paid more money and he wanted to get the security of having more years under contract. He did not get those things. Most of us would be pretty unhappy in the same situation as well.
Luckily, there is plenty of time to break the ice between now and the regular season and fans better hope that Ekeler can put this behind him and stay true to his form. The running back room is a massive question mark for the 2023 season and the last thing the Chargers need is a player who is checked out because of his situation.
Thankfully, Ekeler's mom chimed in on social media to try and quell any doubts about whether or not Ekeler would give his all this season. While that is good to hear, it doesn't change the bad optics of this clip from media day.
In a perfect world, this lights a fire under Ekeler and he puts together another elite season in a contract year so he can get the kind of payday that he is looking for next offseason. He still won't get the big bucks that he wants but he could secure another contract from a different team with another great year.