NFL Betting News: Austin Ekeler and $1.75 million reasons to Stay with Chargers

NFL Betting News: Austin Ekeler and $1.75 million reasons to Stay with Chargers

Pro Bowl running back Austin Ekeler had requested a trade from the Los Angeles Chargers due to contract reasons but will be staying put this season with $1.75 million in incentives added to his deal but that won’t affect the 28-year-old hitting free agency after this year when the Chargers could let him walk. Frankly, the Bolts can’t really extend anyone until they agree with Justin Herbert on a contract.


NFL Betting News: Austin Ekeler Will Stay With Chargers This Season After Contract Reworked


“We see him as someone that is going to help us win a world championship,” Coach Brandon Staley said of Ekeler. “But we’re also respectful of the position he’s in within his career and what he’s looking for, too, so we’re going to be patient but we love Austin Ekeler.”

Ekeler, who had an NFL-best 18 touchdowns running and receiving in 2022, was scheduled to earn $6.25 million in the fourth and final season of a $24.5 million extension. He said he has no ill will toward the Chargers and would like to remain with the organization, which signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Western Colorado in 2017.

Since the Chargers signed Ekeler, he has amassed 63 touchdowns, joining Hall of Famer Lenny Moore as the only players in NFL history to record at least 25 rushing and 25 receiving touchdowns in their first six seasons. Ekeler said in March that he wanted to stay in Los Angeles but only under the right circumstances. His 3,195 total scrimmage yards since 2021 rank fourth among all skill-position players and third among running backs.

“It literally has nothing to do with the relationship,” he said. “I’ve made a great relationship there. Grown there. That’s where I started. So, I want to be there, but on the right terms. Because I know, look, I can’t play forever. I think I can play for a long time just the way I play and the way I treat myself and my mentality.”

Ekeler hadn’t been participating in voluntary offseason work but is now expected to be at the team’s upcoming mandatory minicamp.

Last season, the Chargers’ offense finished 13th in the NFL in scoring, third in passing, eighth in third down efficiency and 20th in red zone efficiency. They were just 30th in the league in rushing, however, with Ekeler’s 915 rushing yards accounting for just over 60% of his team’s entire rushing total.

Ekeler led the NFL in touchdowns both of the past two seasons, scoring 38 times in 33 appearances while averaging 96.8 total yards. Ekeler figures to be busy again this season given the questionable backfield depth behind him, though Herbert is expected to push the ball downfield more with the help of new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and rookie first-round wideout Quentin Johnston.

The Chargers and Moore will play their season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 10 at home with Los Angeles opening as a 2.5-point favorite. The Bolts beat the visiting Dolphins 23-17 in Week 14 last year. Herbert threw for 367 yards and a touchdown and became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 13,000 yards in his first three seasons. Ekeler, who finished with 104 scrimmage yards, had a 1-yard run off left tackle on fourth-and-goal with 18 seconds left in the quarter to extend the lead to 17-7.

Miami had just 219 total yards, the fewest allowed in the series by a Chargers defense in over 50 years. Los Angeles has a 10-1 record in the series when scoring at least 25 points. The Bolts have won four-straight season openers and previously defeated the Dolphins in the 1986 season opener, 50-28, in the only previous opening between the franchises.

The Chargers are given an over/under win total of 9.5 for this season.


I have read enough, I need to place my bet now. What to do?

Bet NFL Today
MyBookie Odds for the Games


NFL Betting Center

Updated NFL Betting Odds! | Online Betting Lines