According to a report by Adam Schefter, Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler has requested to be traded after the two sides failed to agree on a contract extension. Some Detroit Lions fans have suggested trading for Ekeler, but the team should not entertain the idea. The Lions' backfield could see some changes in the upcoming season, with leading rusher Jamaal Williams still a free agent, and the team could consider moving on from D'Andre Swift (If they were sold on Ekeler). While the Lions could look to upgrade the running back position through the draft, they may also explore the trade market and consider Ekeler. That being said, I am here to tell you that trading for Ekeler would be a massive mistake.
- Austin Ekeler has requested to be traded after failing to agree on a contract extension with the Los Angeles Chargers.
- Some Detroit Lions fans have suggested trading for Ekeler
- The Lions' backfield could see changes in the upcoming season, with Jamaal Williams still a free agent and the team possibly moving on from D'Andre Swift.
- The Lions could look to upgrade the running back position through the draft or explore the trade market and consider Ekeler.
- Ekeler is a dual-threat back with a career-best season in 2021, but he is seeking a new deal, has a decent amount of mileage, and just one year remaining on his contract.
- The Lions should “Just Say NO” to an Ekeler trade
The Big Picture: Detroit Lions should “Just Say NO” to Austin Ekeler
Ekeler is a dual-threat back who had a career-best season in 2022, rushing for 915 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added 722 receiving yards and five TDs. He is agile and elusive, making him a great fit for Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson's scheme. However, Ekeler is already seeking a new deal, has a decent amount of mileage, and just one year remaining on his contract. He could command a three-year contract worth around $13 million a year on the open market, and the Chargers will likely want multiple draft picks in any trade package.
The Lions may be tempted to pursue Ekeler, but it would be a mistake. The team has other options, including drafting Texas back Bijan Robinson, who is the consensus No. 1 runner in the 2023 draft class. Additionally, Ekeler's age and injury history make him a risky acquisition, and the Lions need to focus on building for the future.
Big Picture: Building for the Future, not the present
The potential trade for Ekeler has significant implications for the Lions' future. While Ekeler may be a good short-term solution, the Lions need to focus on building a sustainable team for the long term. Pursuing a trade for Ekeler could come at a high cost, both in terms of draft picks and salary cap space. The Lions should prioritize the development of young talent and building a strong foundation for the future.
Austin Ekeler by the Numbers
- Ekeler rushed for a career-best 915 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2021.
- He added 722 yards and five scores as a receiver.
- Ekeler could demand around $13 million per season for his next contract
The stats show that Ekeler had an impressive season in 2021, with significant contributions both as a rusher and receiver. However, his potential salary demands and age may not make him the best fit for the Lions' long-term