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NY Post
New York Post
22 Jul 2023


NextImg:Austin Ekeler organizes call for running backs as contract woes like Saquon Barkley’s persist

Austin Ekeler realizes there is strength in numbers.

The Chargers running back is putting together a Zoom call with fellow running backs of the league who are stuck in contractual issues with their respective franchises, NBC reported.

Per the report, the top running backs of the league were invited, which likely includes Giants’ Saquon Barkley who is heated that he will have to play on the franchise tag of $10.1 million after no long-term deal was reached.

The NFL Players Association is reportedly going to be on the call in some capacity.

The league has shifted away from paying the once highest-valued position top-dollar, which has left players like Barkley and Ekeler with their hands tied.

Austin Ekeler is organizing a call with other top running backs in the league to address contract issues.
AP

“The trend right now is not to pay running backs, so everyone is like ‘OK, we don’t have to do it either then,’” Ekeler said on the “Rich Eisen Show“. “Whether it’s right, wrong or indifferent, it is what it is.

“It’s going to take something, whether some guy stands out again, whether it’s this year, one of these guys holds out and gets a big contract, but we need that needle to move to push us over the edge, because here’s the deal: salary cap goes up every single year. So you see new highs in every single position.”

Ekeler voiced a holdout of his own contract, as he coming into the final year of his $24.5 million dollar deal, according to Spotrac.

Saquon Barkley is introduced before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 1, 2023.
Saquon Barkley is introduced before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 1, 2023.
AP

The Chargers added $1.75 million in incentives to his contract, but Ekeler declared it wasn’t enough for him and now he is joining forces with others in the league in search of a change.