Source: RB Ekeler to sign deal with Commanders



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Former Los Angeles Chargers star running back Austin Ekeler plans to sign a two-year deal worth up to $11 million with the Washington Commanders, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

Ahead of the 2023 season, Ekeler, in the final year of a four-year, $24.1 million contract he signed in 2020, requested a trade after he and the Chargers couldn’t agree to a long-term extension. Eventually, Ekeler returned on a revised deal with added incentives.

Ekeler, 28, had one of the worst years of his career in 2023. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, struggled with drops and had just five rushing touchdowns after getting 25 combined the two previous seasons.

The Chargers signed Ekeler as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and he emerged as one of the league’s top backs, making the Chargers comfortable with letting Melvin Gordon, whom they drafted in the first round in 2015, leave as a free agent in 2019. Since then, Ekeler has established himself as one of the league’s premier pass-catching running backs.

In his first season as the starter, Ekeler had 1,550 yards from scrimmage, and since 2021, he has had the most touchdowns by a running back in the NFL (44). While Ekeler has been an effective rusher, he has been most impactful with the Chargers as a receiver, setting what was then the single-season franchise record for receptions in 2022.

For his career, Ekeler has rushed for 4,355 yards with 39 touchdowns and has 440 receptions for 3,884 yards and 30 touchdowns.

ESPN’s Kris Rhim contributed to this report.



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