Chargers Among Favorites to Sign Perfect Austin Ekeler Replacement per Betting Odds

The Los Angeles Chargers are considered one of the frontrunners to sign the best running back on the market.
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

It is an offseason of change in Los Angeles. With a new general manager and head coach in place for the Chargers, it was only a matter of time before the personnel would go through a radical transformation as well. One of the most significant changes will take place in the running back room.

Austin Ekeler, who has been the workhorse rusher for the Chargers for years, is unlikely to return as he hits free agency. Joshua Kelley's contract has also expired, leaving the Bolts with a bare running back rotation.

The Chargers could choose to select a replacement rusher at the 2024 NFL Draft or go the free agency route. Oddsmakers think the Bolts are one of the frontrunners to land the premier free agent on the market: Saquon Barkley.

Chargers Among Favorites to Sign Saquon Barkley

On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chargers have the second-best odds (+300) in the NFL to sign the Pro Bowl running back.

Barkley is hitting the open market after six seasons with the New York Giants. He is almost certainly not returning to New York after the relationship between the two sides soured starting with the contract negotiations in the 2023 offseason. Barkley ended up playing on a franchise tag without agreeing on a long-term contract extension.

2023 wasn't Barkley's best season but he was still very productive in a less-than-ideal offensive situation. He finished with 1,242 yards from scrimmage and ten total touchdowns. At age 27, he is still one of the best running backs in the league, making him an excellent fit in Jim Harbaugh's offensive system.

Who the Chargers decide to hand the keys to in their running back rotation remains to be seen. But they clearly have a lot of work to do to get back to contention. They are currently +260 to win the AFC West next season on DraftKings.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.