Chargers Take Next Step Toward Austin Ekeler Split

The franchise tag window is open but they don't plan on using it on a specific player.

Dec 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30)
Dec 10, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Chargers fanbase has new excitement as we go into 2024. Jim Harbaugh is the lead man for the Bolts and looks to turn around this organization. This offseason gives Harbaugh the first opportunity to make changes to the team to his liking.

The franchise tag window officially opened up on Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. ET and goes through March 5 at 4 p.m. ET. It allows teams to retain their players for one more year and keeps them from touching the open market.

Unfortunately for one certain player, it doesn't seem like they will be using the franchise tag on him in 2024.

Los Angeles Chargers Expected to Let RB Austin Eckler Hit Free Agency

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers are not going to hit running back Austin Eckler with the franchise tag in 2024. That tag comes at $12.1 million fully guaranteed for RBs this year.

Eckler requested a trade during the offseason in 2023 in hopes of securing a new deal. That ultimately didn't happen and the 28-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

Last season, he logged 628 rushing yards, 436 receiving yards, and six total touchdowns. This was a downgrade, considering he finished 1,637 total scrimmage yards and 21 total touchdowns in 2022.

Per Spotrac, the Chargers are $20 million over the cap in 2024 and need to make some moves to get under the salary cap. It wouldn't be smart to shell out $12.1 million to a running back who took a step back in 2023.

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