Austin Ekeler: Los Angeles Chargers Told Me I ‘Didn’t Fit’ Their Vision

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

When NFL free agency began, we knew the Los Angeles Chargers had a lot of tough decisions to make. Not only were they already hindered by being over the salary cap at the outset of the offseason, core players like Austin Ekeler had expiring contracts.

New general manager Joe Hortiz was never going to be able to keep the entire band together with the team’s salary constraints, but the Chargers didn’t really have a backup plan in place behind their longtime starting running back.

It sounds like the Chargers at least tried to re-sign the 28-year-old running back. However, Austin Ekeler also claims that the Chargers made it feel like he wasn’t wanted back in Los Angeles.

“The Chargers came to me and kinda told me what they were looking at in the RB position and it wasn’t what I can offer as a player. There was a misalignment. Yeah, they’re interested, but are you really? If all else fails, bring Austin back in type of thing? Because I don’t want to be in that scenario. If that’s your philosophy and what you’re telling me and I don’t fit that, I gotta look somewhere else.”

Austin Ekeler on Los Angeles Chargers’ honesty

The Chargers pivoted to Gus Edwards in free agency, signing the former Ravens running back to a very reasonable two-year, $6.5 million contract. Meanwhile, Ekeler joined the Washington Commanders on a two-year, $8.43 million contract. Time will tell who got the better end of the bargain, but it appears both sides were ready to move on after seven seasons.

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