From undrafted unknown to backfield stud, the Bolts’ RB1 has a chance to earn an even bigger bag — let’s examine the details of the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler contract.
This season, the Los Angeles Chargers have realized that to get the best out of a franchise quarterback as good as Justin Herbert, the team will have to maintain a steady run game to keep defenses honest. Right on cue, Austin Ekeler’s improvements as a consistent between-the-tackles runner are doing critical work to balance out the Bolts’ offense after he first established himself as a dependable RB1 in 2020.
Today, by any number of metrics, Ekeler is one of the best running backs both IRL and in fantasy football. This season, he experienced a relatively slow September before returning to his typically standout numbers as both a runner and pass-catcher, and as the team continues to miss injured wideout Keenan Allen, we can continue to expect a heavy dose of Ekeler in all phases of the LA offense as he works toward positioning himself to sign perhaps the richest deal of his career come 2024.
Halfway through a four-year extension that began in 2020, let’s dive into the details of the Chargers’ Austin Ekeler contract as the undrafted phenom out of Western Colorado keeps leveling up (just like his gaming company).
Austin Ekeler Contract Details & Salary
Salary data via Spotrac
- Years: 4
- Total value: $24,500,000
- Guaranteed at signing: $13,750,000
- Total guaranteed: $15,000,000
- Free Agency: 2024
The seven-year vet is still on his first contract extension. Following a rookie scale deal with the Bolts worth just $1,670,000 over three years. After making the most of his early limited snaps, he signed an extension that ranks 10th in the NFL among running backs by total value. In 2022, he’s the 15th highest-paid running back by total cash compensation.
Notably, Justin Herbert will become eligible to sign his first extension following the current season, and locking him up for a presumably gigantic sum ought to be priority No. 1, but Ekeler will still be just 28 when his current deal with the team expires. From there, a multiverse of possibilities could play out if he hasn’t been extended by then. So, will Austin Ekeler earn one more contract with LA? If we’re going based on production alone, the former Western Colorado Mountaineer is doing everything he needs to do to get the Chargers to pull the trigger.
Ekeler’s Career Earnings
CAREER BASE SALARY EARNINGS: $12,915,000
TOTAL SIGNING BONUSES: $6,005,000
OTHER BONUSES/INCENTIVES: $2,046,224
TOTAL NFL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2022 SEASON: $20,966,224
ESTIMATED NFL EARNINGS THRU 2023 SEASON: $26,716,224
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