Austin Ekeler agrees to 2-year deal with Commanders: reports

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Another running back is off the free agent board, as former Los Angeles Charger Austin Ekeler is joining the Washington Commanders on a two-year deal, according to multiple reports.   

Ekeler will play on a deal up to $11 million, ESPN reported, after completing his four-year deal that was worth $24.1 million with the Chargers last season. 

Ekeler, 28, did not see eye to eye with the Chargers this past offseason, when he requested a trade after not being able to reach a long-term extension with the team. When a trade never went through, Ekeler agreed to an incentivized revision of his final year on the contract. 


Austin Ekeler vs Dolphins

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) on the sideline before a game against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium.  (Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

He went on to have one of the worst seasons of his career with the Chargers in 2023, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry (628 total yards on 179 attempts) and scoring just five times after 13 and 12 touchdowns in 2022 and 2021 respectively. 

Ekeler is also known to be a receiving threat, making 107 receptions in 2022. However, he had just 51 for 436 yards last season over 14 games. 


But the Commanders are likely hoping Ekeler can get back to form next season under his former Chargers head coach, Anthony Lynn, who joined Dan Quinn’s new coaching staff in Washington as running backs coach. 

Ekeler will be joining a backfield that also features Brian Robinson, who had 733 yards on 178 carries last season in his second year in the NFL. 

Austin Ekeler touchdown

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

How the Commanders and new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury will be delegating their touches will be interesting to see unfold. Given Ekeler’s versatility, Kingsbury will be able to use him anywhere, no matter the down. 

The 2021 season was Ekeler’s best year with 1,558 scrimmage yards and 20 total touchdowns for the Chargers in 16 games. He followed it up with 1,637 scrimmage yards and 18 total touchdowns. 

Last offseason, running backs market was slow, but several agreed to terms with teams on Monday, most notably the Philadelphia Eagles landing Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs moving to the Green Bay Packers. 

Austin Ekeler vs the Jaguars

Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at TIAA Bank Field on January 14, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)


Tony Pollard is heading to the Tennessee Titans, while Gus Edwards joins the Chargers from the Baltimore Ravens. 

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