Who Will Benefit from Eckler’s Unhappiness? Chargers or AFC West?


The Los Angeles Chargers have a running back conundrum. Very similar to what’s going on with Josh Jacob’s and the Raiders, Austin Eckler is unhappy with how his team is handling his contract negotiations. Eckler asked to be traded in the off-season, and eventually agreed to rescind his calls for a trade after the Chargers added close to $2 million to his 4th and final year of his contract, allowing him to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Quoting from the NFL Website: “For me, I understand that I have one more obligation here,” Ekeler said of his status with the Chargers on Tuesday, per the team transcript. “One more year that I’m obligated to be here. I wanted to go poke around and see if there was any other value. If not, right? Come back and have my last year. Like I said before, do what I can do here.”

Those are hardly the enthusiastic words of a player that can’t wait to go into the trenches with his team. This sounds like a guy who wants to pad his stats this year, at the expense of the team, if need be. The words of someone who is looking to maximize his stock in the NFL in the midst of an NFL that doesn’t seem to value a top-notch running back the way they used to.

On the other hand, the fact that he wants to/needs to do so well this year, can absolutely help the team if the coaching staff can harness that energy and use it to the team’s advantage. Only time will tell.

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