4 free-agent running backs Chargers can sign to replace Austin Ekeler

Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Chargers v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Gus Edwards

While Barkley is a pipe dream for some that should not happen, Gus Edwards is one of the most realistic free agents that the Chargers can sign this offseason. Unlike Barkley, Edwards is going to be available for a reasonable price and should not cut into any compensatory picks that the Chargers receive for Ekeler leaving.

The running back market has already dwindled in recent years and this is actually a deep market. With there being limited money to go around to running backs, and there being marquee backs at the top of the class, guys like Edwards will be forced to take cheaper deals.

That is the first reason why Edwards is on the team's radar. He should be available for an extremely cheap price that allows the Chargers to make other moves in the offseason. Edwards will probably be the ninth or 10th highest-paid running back in this year's class; last year that netted a running back less than $3 million annually.

The other compelling reason for Edwards becoming a Charger is the fact that he has ties to Roman from their time with the Baltimore Ravens. Jim Harbaugh has made it pretty clear already that existing relationships are important in decision-making, which will make the decision that much easier with Edwards.

And the icing on the cake is the fact that Edwards is actually a productive player. It is not like the Chargers are getting some flier with no chance of success. He might not be a marquee RB1, but he is someone who can be a strong member of a running back rotation.