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Chargers, Ekeler Agree To New Four-Year, $24 Million Deal
The Chargers and Austin Ekeler, a restricted free-agent, reached agreement on a four-year, $24.5 million deal that includes $15 million guaranteed, a deal first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Schefter went on to point out that Ekeler is 24 years old and with his new four-year deal, he is now scheduled to become a free agent again after the 2023 season.

The news isn't a huge surprise.

As's Eric D. Williams recently suggested, the Chargers already have committed to Ekeler, just not in the traditional sense in how we've grown to identify a feature back.

Ekeler is considered a playmaker, and will be used just as much in the passing game as the running game.

Ekeler, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2017, moved into a key role on the team’s offense over the last two years. Ekeler ran 132 times for 557 yards and caught 92 passes for 993 yards while notching 11 overall touchdowns during the 2019 season.

Among running backs last season, Ekeler finished tops in the NFL in receiving TDs (eight) and second in receptions (92).

Beyond that, ESPN's Field Yates points out that Ekeler led all NFL players in catches without a drop (92); those 993 yards receiving were 12th most by ever by a running back; he had 10 games with five-plus catches, and was one of five running backs with 1,500-plus total yards and 10-plus total TDs.

He was also fourth in fantasy points amongst all running backs.

According to Williams, head coach Anthony Lynn wants Ekeler to get 15 to 20 touches a game and he should continue to be used in a similar capacity in 2020. That'll work for us. ...

Remember, teammate Melvin Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent.

As notes, the fact that the Chargers never extended Gordon’s contract while he was holding out last year was one sign that a new deal in L.A. wasn’t in the cards and the Ekeler news probably doesn’t make it any likelier.