NFL Rumors: Chargers Austin Ekeler Frustrated With Contract: ''I'm So Underpaid''

Austin Ekeler, the star running back for the Los Angeles Chargers, has expressed frustration over his current contract status with the team.

Despite being under contract for the 2023 season for $6.25 million, Ekeler believes he is underpaid for his contributions to the team and wants a long-term deal that better reflects his value on the field.

Ekeler had a standout 2022 season, leading all NFL players with 18 total touchdowns and finishing in the top 10 for the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. However, his average annual salary ranks 14th among all NFL running backs, and he believes that he is worth significantly more.

Although he was given permission to seek a trade, Ekeler clarified that it was only because the team had shut him out during negotiations for a potential long-term contract.

He has expressed a desire to stay with the Chargers under the right circumstances, but is relentlessly pursuing a deal that will adequately reflect his value and commitment to the team.

While there has been little reported outside interest in Ekeler, his projected market value is $12.8 million per year, making it difficult for the Chargers to negotiate a new contract that is satisfactory for both parties.

A small band-aid extension or restructure may be the best way forward for both sides, but it remains to be seen how the negotiations will play out in the coming weeks and months.

Ultimately, Ekeler's value on the field is undeniable, and it is likely that the Chargers will need to make some concessions to keep him on the team long-term.

Whether this means negotiating a new contract or restructuring his existing deal, it is clear that Ekeler's talent and contributions to the team should be adequately compensated. Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports