The LA Chargers currently have a massive storyline hanging over their head with running back Austin Ekeler. Ekeler has been granted permission to seek out a trade after the two sides were unable to make any progress on extension talks.
If the Bolts do move Ekeler they are going to have to start considering which running backs are going to replace him. The roster is not in a position to simply move on and the team would have to get help either in free agency or in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Ekeler is not the only big-name running back that could be changing teams this offseason, though. The Dallas Cowboys are expected to release running back Ezekiel Elliott to save salary-cap space and as crazy as it sounds, this is something that Chargers fans must be monitoring.
Why the Chargers could be in the Ezekiel Elliott market:
The instant reaction for a lot of Chargers fans is a stern no. Ezekiell Elliott has not had the best reputation in recent seasons as he has been overpaid and has not been the best running back on his own team.
However, this is one of those situations where Elliott's contract almost made him underrated. There is no question that the Cowboys made a mistake in paying him big money but he has still been a solid running back, although last season was a step in the wrong direction.
Elliott carried the ball 231 times for 876 yards with 12 touchdowns. He added 17 catches for 92 yards in what was a down year for him catching the football as Tony Pollard had a larger role in that facet of the offense.
If Elliott's name alone convinces a team to pay a pretty penny for him then it is not worth it at all for the Chargers. But with a big contract behind him, there is a very real chance that Elliott is only going to get a one-year deal for very cheap.
If that is the case, it is worth taking a flier on someone who has familiarity in this offense with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. With or without Ekeler, it never hurts to have running back depth and we always see veterans like Elliott end up having a big game or two late in the season or the playoffs that shifts things.
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Elliott's days as a workhorse back are certainly over but that is not the expectation if the Chargers were to bring him in. He would simply be bolstering the depth of the running back room, which very well might need it in 2023.