Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is requesting permission to speak with other teams about a potential trade after preliminary talks with the team aimed at a contract extension did not progress, his agent Cameron Weiss told ESPN, as reported by Adam Schefter.
Austin Ekeler finished the 2022 season as the #4 overall running back in fantasy football with 265.7 fantasy points. Ekeler played in 16 games and managed to produce 16.9 fantasy points per game for fantasy owners. With Ekeler requesting a trade, I analyzed a few teams that I think would make a move for Ekeler – and who might even increase his fantasy output.
The Buffalo Bills have been searching for a run game for years now, and Ekeler could just be the answer the team has been looking for. Ekeler is tough, compact, and bruising running back – perfect for what the Bills should be looking for in their running back.
The Bills top running backs under contract for 2023 are James Cook and Nyheim Hines. Both players have a place in the offense, but if the Bills are looking to make a real Superbowl run they need to be able to establish the run game. Ekeler is the man for the position.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are another contender that could really use an upgrade at the running back position. Last year the team saw incredible production out of running back Isaiah Pacheco down the stretch, especially in the playoffs.
Although the team seems like they have a solid one two punch with Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the team should be looking to upgrade its offensive weapons after unloading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins last offseason.
Ekeler would be an instant upgrade over the current situation in the running back room. An upgrade at the running back position is something I’m sure Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would appreciate. An increase in the threat of the run game is something that could make Mahomes even more dangerous on Sundays.
The Arizona Cardinals are another team that should be looking to upgrade its offensive weapons this offseason, and I think running back is one of those positions. The team currently has James Connor, K’yonte Ingram, and Tyson Williams.
James Connor produced some solid numbers last season but with Kyler Murray potentially missing the first few games of the season, the running game should take on an extended role. Ekeler would help the Cardinals out tremendously, and it’s a move the front office should think about making.