Skip to main content

Chargers HC Brandon Staley expects RB Austin Ekeler to be at mandatory minicamp in June

Austin Ekeler was unsurprisingly absent Monday for organized team activities, but Chargers head coach Brandon Staley's expectation is his top running back will be at mandatory minicamp in June.

Ekeler requested and received permission to explore a potential trade out of Los Angeles in mid-March, but nothing has materialized.

"The current state with Austin is that he's one of the top backs in the league over the last two seasons," Staley said, via team transcript. "He's been a captain for us. We really have the utmost respect for him and the situation. It's been respectful on both sides. Looking forward to this spring. We'll give you guys updates, if there are any."

Amid the standstill that has followed his trade request, Ekeler made it known he has a solid relationship with the Chargers, but he wants a contract that he feels matches his production.

The six-year back has been a touchdown machine over the past two seasons, racking up 20 and 18 total TDs in 2021 and 2022, respectively. He's also had north of 1,500 scrimmage yards in each of the last two campaigns. However, on his current deal, which is entering its final season, his $6.12 million average annual salary is 13th among backs.

Early in April, Ekeler conveyed that he'd come to the realization that he'd likely need to play one more season with the Bolts before betting on himself in free agency.

The Chargers didn't add to their RB room in the 2023 NFL Draft and currently house Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, Isaiah Spiller and Larry Rountree III in their backfield.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted it's not expected that Ekeler will be traded, as the team has said. Ekeler is not a regular at OTAs, either. So, as much of the Ekeler saga has played out this offseason, there's little update other than the expectation of him being in attendance for minicamp (June 13-14) and for at least one final season with the Bolts in 2023.

Related Content