Austin Ekeler Requests Trade Because Chargers Don't Want To Overpay Soon-To-Be-28-Year-Old Running Back

This is an important offseason for the Los Angeles Chargers. They started by restructuring the contracts of wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to create cap space. Now, running back Austin Ekeler wants a trade because the team isn't offering him the contract he wants.

The trade request makes sense from both sides. Austin Ekeler turns 28 years old in May. As a running back nearing 30, he only has likely one contract left. He wants to get paid.

From the Chargers perspective, they have a very good running back, albeit an aging one, at just over $6 million for next season. That's a bargain. But tying themselves to him for multiple more seasons at a lot more money doesn't make good business sense.

Los Angeles Chargers, Austin Ekeler can't agree on value

The question is what team is going to trade for Austin Ekeler? As mentioned, he's nearing 30 years old. He's been remarkably durable throughout his career, playing at least 10 games in all six of his professional seasons. He's missed only one game over the past two seasons.

But the mileage is starting to add up. He's had 1,200 touches in the NFL and nearly 600 have come in the past two years.

In three of the past four seasons, Ekeler has topped 1,500 yards from scrimmage. No one in the NFL has more touchdowns than Ekeler since the start of last season (38).

But that's what Ekeler has done. The Chargers seem to understand that paying for past production is bad business.

Especially since quarterback Justin Herbert is going to need a big extension either this offseason or next.

The Chargers are probably hoping that there's no market out there for Ekeler. They have a team ready to compete and there's no question that they're better next season with him than they are without him.

However, running backs are replaceable.

Austin Ekeler is about to learn that the hard way.

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Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to OutKick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named "Brady" because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.