It has been over a week since Austin Ekeler requested permission to seek out a trade from the LA Chargers and the situation is still up in the air. The running back market has seemingly killed the possibility of Ekeler being traded but then you have Ekeler making public podcast appearances to share how underpaid he is and the money that he wants.
The Chargers have an interesting situation on their hands and it will be very compelling to see how Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley handle this stare-off with Ekeler. One thing is for certain, though: if the team does trade Ekeler it is going to have to follow it up with other moves.
3 moves the Chargers should definitely make if they trade Austin Ekeler:
1. Trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft
If the Chargers trade Austin Ekeler this offseason then that will create one more need for the team to address in the 2023 NFL Draft. Heck, even if Ekeler stays, it would not be a bad thing to try and find his replacement in the draft this year.
Sure, there are guys like Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller on the roster but the team obviously did not trust them last season. Los Angeles is going to have to draft a running back and with one extra need, the team should trade down in the draft.
This could remove the possibility of taking Bijan Robinson but quite frankly, Robinson probably won't be on the board by the time the 21st pick rolls around. LA will probably wait until draft night just in case Robinson falls but when he inevitably doesn't, trading back and picking up an extra pick in the top 75-100 is key.
And that trade back would lead into the other, obvious, move that the Chargers should make.