Ex-Chargers RB Austin Ekeler signing with Commanders on two-year deal worth up to $11.43M

Ekeler’s departure was essentially guaranteed at this time a year ago, when he was upset by the Chargers’ unwillingness to discuss a long-term extension, requested permission to seek a trade, found the running back market to be exceptionally poor, and eventually agreed to a revised contract that only added incentives to his contract.

With a regime change occurring in Los Angeles and Ekeler approaching his 29th birthday, now was the time to seek employment elsewhere, and he found it in Washington, where he can serve as a pass-catching complement to starter Brian Robinson.

Ekeler won’t make any more money than he did in his final season in Los Angeles — he’ll make less, in fact, even if he achieves every incentive — but at this point, it’s still a best-case outcome for a running back who has racked up 69 total touchdowns over seven seasons. He ranked 89th on Gregg Rosenthal’s Top 101 free agents list, an accurate placement for a running back who lacks the explosiveness that once made him a three-down nightmare for opposing defenses, but can still produce as a pass-catcher.

The fit is ideal in Washington, where the Commanders are turning toward a new era under coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. If anything, Ekeler’s experience will benefit a team lacking proven winners, and he’ll still make solid money at a position that isn’t breaking the bank in today’s NFL.

First appeared on www.nfl.com

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