Austin Ekeler tried to facilitate a trade in the offseason so that he could land somewhere else with a team that would give him a contract extension. That ultimately did not pan out as teams were rightly hesitant to trade for a running back knocking on the door of 30.
However, now that we are in-season it is more likely that a running back-hungry team would send a late-round pick in order to bring Ekeler on for one season. Ekeler would not be getting an extension, but at least he would get the chance to play more meaningful football and increase his value that way.
Ekeler's new team in a trade would be taking on a $3.8 million cap hit and that is before the Chargers would do any kind of manipulation to get his cap hit lower for his new team. It certainly is an affordable price for his new team, especially considering he is on an expiring deal.
It would be a big hit to the Chargers offense but outside of Week 1, it is not like Ekeler has done much this season anyway. He was out for three games with an injury and then didn't do much of anything in Week 6 or Week 7. If the playoffs are truly out of reach then trading Ekeler might be the best situation for everyone involved.
A team like the LA Rams would definitely take a chance on Ekeler to add him to Sean McVay's offense without having to pay much, especially if they stay in the Wild Card hunt.