The LA Chargers are dealing with an unforeseen situation this offseason. After the two sides could not make progress on a contract extension, Austin Ekeler asked permission (and was granted permission) to seek out a trade this offseason.
This is not a guarantee that Ekeler will be moved this offseason but it does seemingly create a fracture in the relationship. We have seen something kind of similar play out in the past with Melvin Gordon and in that situation, the Chargers stood strong and did not give into Gordon's contract demands.
Regardless of what happens, it definitely is a dicey situation for everyone involved and makes it more likely than fans ever thought imaginable that Ekeler would be wearing a different uniform in 2023. After several free-agent additions, this is now the biggest storyline around the team by far.
So what does star quarterback Justin Herbert think? Herbert is not one to get into any sort of drama, storylines, or narratives with the media but he did post on Instagram right in the middle of all the Ekeler drama. It had nothing to do with Ekeler but was so perfectly Justin Herbert that Chargers fans can't help but laugh.
Justin Herbert has the most Justin Herbert post during Chargers-Austin Ekeler drama.
Did you expect anything less than a picture of Justin Herbert holding a fish he just caught while all of this went down? While his agents are likely trying to work out a contract extension, Herbert is out here in the Pacific ocean catching fish and (likely) putting birdies.
Even though this situation has nothing to do with Herbert (and his fishing post should remind you of that), there has been some strange discourse on social media blaming the star quarterback for this. Of course, it started with disgruntled Dolphins fans, but the take that people don't like playing with Herbert somehow became the takeaway from all of this.
I guess Ekeler letting Skip Bayless dig into Herbert earlier this offseason without defending his quarterback isn't a great look but everything that has come out of that locker room about Herbert has been great. If someone doesn't like playing with Herbert that is on them, not Herbert.
But that is not even what this is about. Austin Ekeler has the most touchdowns in the NFL over the last two seasons and wants a pay raise because of it. The Chargers, knowing running backs regress quickly in their late 20s and early 30s, likely don't want to commit to giving him said raise.
It is all business and while those two parties are taking care of that, Herbert is somewhere out on a boat catching tonight's dinner.