- Contract: Four-year, $24.5 million
- 2023 salary-cap hit: $7.75 million
- Years remaining: 1
Austin Ekeler's contract is holding the LA Chargers back for completely different reasons. This is not a case of the team owing a lot of money to someone over 30 on the decline or someone who is hurt and may never be the same.
In fact, Ekeler only has one year left on his deal and there are no long-term issues at all. That being said, his contract situation is currently holding the team up and could hold them back for the 2023 season. This is important considering the all-in nature of the front office right now.
Ekeler requested and was granted permission to seek out a trade as the two sides could not come to terms on a contract extension. Ekeler may not ever get the extension he is looking for considering his age and the fact that the running back market is not where it was three years ago.
While that seemingly would guarantee his return to LA, Ekeler already called returning to the Chargers on his deal the worst-case scenario. We have seen these kinds of situations happen both on the Chargers and on other teams and it almost never ends positively.
There is no guarantee that Ekeler is even going to be on the Chargers next season and if he sits out and decides not to play then the Chargers will be paying just under $8 million for absolutely nothing with no real contingency in place at running back.