Austin Ekeler's future with the LA Chargers remains unclear. The veteran running back requested and was granted permission to seek out a trade as he and the organization could not make progress on contract extension talks.
Ekeler wants to make what he perceives to be market value, which is likely in the $10-12 million per year range. However, the running back market has dried up since those contracts were given out and the Chargers are right to not want to extend a running back in his late 20s to such a deal.
The goal for Ekeler and his agent is to find a team that is not only willing to trade draft capital for him but is willing to sign him to a new deal. That task is easier said than done, as that is a lot to pay someone for past production.
One team that has been circling in the NFL rumors is the Denver Broncos. After all, Denver has poached a former unhappy Chargers running back before in Melvin Gordon and also has Joe Lombardi joining Sean Payton. Ekeler's two best seasons were with Lombardi calling the shots.
The NFL rumors regarding Austin Ekeler being traded from the Chargers to the Broncos make zero sense.
This would be a nightmare situation for Chargers fans as they have already had to watch Drue Tranquill go to the Kansas City Chiefs and DeAndre Carter go to the Las Vegas Raiders. Ekeler joining Denver to help Russell Wilson would be one of the worst teams for him to go to.
That being said, Chargers fans can rest easy as this potential connection that has been made makes absolutely zero sense. Denver has zero need for Ekeler in its offense and would never pay the draft capital and a new deal to make it happen.
The Broncos already have a promising young running back in Javonte Williams, who legitimately has the makings of being one of the best backs in the sport. He is coming off injury, sure, but his mileage to this point is relatively low.
Denver also brought in Samaje Perine from Cincinnati this offseason to complement Williams. This is an excellent pairing as Perine is a legitimate pass-catching back that will balance nicely with Williams likely being the workload.
There is no need for Ekeler. Sure, he could be a much better version of Perine but it would be useless for the Broncos to commit all those assets to Ekeler when they already have a pretty good situation at running back.