Although Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has one year remaining on his current contract, he has requested to be traded after talks regarding an extension haven’t gone anywhere.
He has been one of the NFL’s most productive running backs over the last couple of years, even though he hasn’t been named to the Pro Bowl, and losing him would be a big blow for a Chargers team that is looking to enter Super Bowl contention.
Analyst Marc Ross feels that if Ekeler does indeed leave L.A., he would be a great fit for the Cincinnati Bengals.
.@AustinEkeler to the Bengals?! @MarcRoss & @DCarr8 would love that fit if a trade goes down 👀 pic.twitter.com/CGKbXDbhak
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) March 13, 2023
“You put this guy in with that offense and Joe Burrow, it’s just gonna take that offense to a whole another level.”
Ekeler went undrafted in 2017 after playing four seasons at Western Colorado University, where he accumulated 5,857 rushing yards and 63 total touchdowns.
His pro career got off to a quiet start, as he spent his first three seasons as a backup to Chargers RB1 Melvin Gordon, but once Gordon left following the 2019 campaign, Ekeler started to emerge.
In 2021, he had 911 rushing yards and 647 receiving yards while leading the NFL with 20 total touchdowns.
He also led the league with 18 rushing and receiving yards this past season while also recording 915 rushing yards and 722 receiving yards.
As it is, L.A. finished 30th in rushing yards and yards per rush attempt in 2022, and it doesn’t have a reliable every-down running back who could take over full-time for Ekeler should he depart.
The team finished 10-7 despite a massive rash of injuries, only to blow a 27-0 lead and lose in the final seconds to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
Ekeler was one of only a few starters on either side of the football to play and start in all 17 contests.NEXT: A Chargers RB Reportedly Wants To Speak With Other Teams