Skip to main content

Los Angeles Chargers star says team’s recent slight was a disrespectful ‘punch in the face’

Los Angeles Chargers stud running back Austin Ekeler really wants to stay with his current team, but he believes their recent disrespect is making it extremely difficult.

Austin Ekeler has done nothing but get better throughout his six-year run with the Los Angeles Chargers. His journey has been one of the team’s best stories over the last decade as the Western St. alum went from undrafted athlete to star running back in the NFL.

While the 27-year-old has yet to earn Pro Bowl honors in the league, his stats over the last two seasons say otherwise. Over the last two years, few players have been a better dual threat than Ekeler. In 2021 he tallied 1,558 total yards and 20 total touchdowns, then followed up that career year with another 1,637 total yards and 18 TDs.

Related: XFL games today – Get watch times for this weekend’s XFL action

While quarterback Justin Herbert is the star of the Los Angeles Chargers offense, there is no denying that Ekeler is the next most important talent on one of the better offensive units in the NFL. However, the organization has been unwilling to reward the running back with a new long-term contract.

Los Angeles Chargers record (2022): 10-7, second-place in AFC West

los angeles chargers
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For months, Austin Ekeler’s representation and the team have been in talks about a new contract that has gone nowhere. While he has one year left on his contract, he obviously would like long-term security and also be shown some love like many other players in the past have received after several strong seasons for the organization. Yet, that hasn’t been the case, and that is why he asked to seek out a trade last month.

On a Tuesday appearance on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Radio Ekeler revealed that the team has tabled all contract talks in a move he calls a “punch in the face.”

“I kind of got punched in the face when the Chargers basically said we don’t want to talk about extensions anymore. This is an organization I continue to rise and hit new heights in. That’s how it felt. It felt like, wow. This was the first time in my career with them I felt disrespected by my own organization. I want to be a Charger. I want to be there and it sucks because it’s like, let’s get something done. Yes, I do have one more year on my contract, absolutely, but for them to want to allow me to be a free agent next year, maybe we’ll get something done throughout the year, who knows how it’s going to play out, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.”

– Austin Ekeler [h/t Pro Football Talk]

The Los Angeles Chargers star is in a difficult position where he is probably underpaid as he is set to make $6.25 million next season, but the market for running back salaries has shrunk so much this offseason that he may not be able to get much more in a new deal. It is also probably why he has been unable to find a team willing to trade for him and then offer a new long-term contract.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: