MAY 24: Ekeler’s incentive package includes escalators for total yardage, touchdowns and a Pro Bowl berth. The seventh-year back can earn up to $1MM depending on his total yardage, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets, with the incentive package beginning at 1,125 yards and topping out at 1,639. Ekeler finished with a career-high 1,637 scrimmage yards last season. As for TDs, Ekeler’s incentive package ranges from 10-16. He can earn up to $600K in this area. Ekeler scored 20 touchdowns in 2021 and 18 last year.
MAY 23: After requesting a trade earlier this offseason, Austin Ekeler will remain with the Chargers for the 2023 season. The veteran running back has agreed to a new deal which includes almost $2MM in incentives being added to his scheduled compensation, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
Ekeler is entering the final season of his contract, and was due a base salary of $6.25MM this year. Where that figure ranks him amongst the league’s other top running backs drove his trade request at the start of free agency, something which the Chargers allowed him to explore. As expected, little interest emerged with respect to teams looking to acquire the 28-year-old.
Ekeler has expressed a willingness to remain in Los Angeles for one more campaign, knowing another strong season would help his free agent value. Likewise, the Chargers have made it clear that they had no intention of actively seeking a trade which would have seen the league’s two-time reigning touchdown leader depart. Now, Ekeler will once again occupy a central role in the team’s offense, one which faces signficant expectations this season.
The former UDFA has topped 1,500 scrimmage yards in three of the past four campaigns, and a continuation of his substantial two-way production could give him multiple suitors on the open market next offseason. However, the 2023 free agency period saw a number of short-term, low-cost deals handed out at the RB position, which could lessen the chances of the Chargers being outbid for Ekeler’s services on a new contract. In any event, the Western Colorado product’s relationship with his current team should no longer be a concern.
Head coach Brandon Staley said yesterday that he fully expected Ekeler – who, as per usual, is currently absent from OTAs – to attend mandatory minicamp in June. Given today’s development, that can now be considered a lock as Ekeler’s immediate financial future has been taken care of.
3 comments on “Austin Ekeler Agrees To Reworked Chargers Deal”
Glad they are not breaking the bank to keep him.
RBs have it tough. Run, catch, block. Run for 1000 years plus per year, get to free agency, and no one really bites because of mileage. Some are lucky to cash in what they can beyond their rookie contract and franchise tags, but very few are successful. It’s the one position where you can get killed every play and not get paid well to do so, or at least for very long.
Typical undervalued RB incentive at 1M, a 2 or 3M escalator would’ve been a pinch more in line.
Giving defensive player millions for < 4-5 sacks and WRs for < 5TDs is bogus. Ekler moves the chains and is such an asset Chargers disappoint on this front!
I get that they’re trying to save $ in order to budget for Herbert, wonder how that going to shake out.