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Brandon Staley: We want Austin Ekeler to be a Charger

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect the current RB market and discuss ways for talented players like Austin Ekeler to avoid feeling underpaid.

Austin Ekeler feels underpaid, but he’s not underappreciated.

The Chargers gave Ekeler permission to seek a trade two weeks ago after the sides failed to come to an agreement on a new contract. He remains a Charger with no apparent interest from any other team, and the Chargers are hoping it stays that way.

“We’ve been in full communication with his team,” Brandon Staley told Steve Wyche on NFL Network on Sunday. “I think there’s alignment and a way forward. We want him to be a Charger. I think that that’s something that [General Manager] Tom [Telesco] has said. It’s something I’ve said. We want this guy to be a Charger. We’re also respectful of his position, and we’re going to see where it goes. There’s going to be time now between now and our first game, and we’ll see what happens. But I know the Chargers feel very strongly about Austin Ekeler. He’s just been fantastic for us.”

Ekeler is entering the final year of his contract scheduled to make $6.25 million in base salary. He led the Chargers in rushing in 2022, with 915 yards and 13 touchdowns on 204 carries, and also led the Chargers with 107 catches and five receiving touchdowns.