The LA Chargers may need to prepare for life without Austin Ekeler. While the running back market might kill the chances of an Ekeler trade before it even gets off the ground, it is still a possibility and preparing for that possibility is smart.
Even if Ekeler is brought back into the fold, the team adding a veteran running back to simply add depth is not a bad thing. They tried doing it last year with Sony Michel and it did not work. If Isaiah Spiller still isn't NFL-ready, they are going to need a new addition to the room that probably isn't a rookie (unless it is an early-round rookie).
Rashaad Penny would have been an excellent option for the Bolts. Penny signed a one-year, $1.35 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles that will probably end up in great things if he can just stay healthy. That offensive line is dynamic and Penny has shown the ability to be a true difference-maker in the past.
Penny simply has not been able to stay healthy and that has been the biggest knock on his game. It is s shame because when he is healthy he is really good. Over the last two seasons, the now-former Seahawk is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. That is an incredible number.
Perhaps the Chargers were waiting to see what happens with Ekeler and in the 2023 NFL Draft to sign someone like Penny. But at that price, it was worth it for the Bolts to just bring him in and if he didn't play as big of a role as expected then so be it. It is only a $1.35 million contract.