I’m firmly within the nook of it’s best to by no means pay a working again for all of the cliche arguments that associate with it. However there are exceptions to each rule, like when a working again is extra receiver than Derrick Henry. Quarterbacks love having outlet guys on their group, and like you may argue that in 2022 Austin Ekeler was to Justin Herbert what Travis Kelce is to Patrick Mahomes.
That’s why the information that Los Angeles is, predictably, letting Ekeler search a commerce as a result of their proprietor is a infamous cheapskate who San Diegans hate like J. Jonah Jameson hates Spider-Man. Like their views concerning poor folks basically, Los Angelenos are apathetic to Dean Spanos, so that they don’t actually have an opinion on the Chargers both.
Having mentioned that, I care about Herbert as a result of it’s extra enjoyable when gifted quarterbacks aren’t mired on piss-poor groups.
Ekeler is a QB’s finest good friend
The seven-year professional led the NFL in receptions by a working again in 2022, catching 107 balls, 22 greater than the following closest man (Christian McCaffrey, 85). The Chargers restructured Keenan Allen’s deal final week, and for what? So they may commerce the quarterback’s favourite goal? Mike Williams led the group in yards — which is why it was so tragic when he acquired damage in meaningless motion on the finish of the 12 months, and cause No. 628 why Brandon Staley must be fired* — however Ekeler had 44 extra grabs than him and 35 greater than the following closest Bolt.
(*Staley nonetheless has a job as a result of Spanos is just too low-cost to fireplace him.)
Justin Herbert is the principle cause consultants are optimistic about Chargers soccer. That’s it. They’ve some good, often nice ability guys, and Ekeler has confirmed to be nice since he’s taken on the No. 1 function. There are well being issues, positive, however he solely had 204 carries a 12 months in the past, good for twentieth within the league.
If you need your franchise quarterback to belief the group and develop inside it, it actually helps to maintain his emergency outlet. Ekeler’s worth is nearly as essential within the air as it’s on the bottom, and due to this fact he could be undervalued just because he’s not on the wideout market.
I wrote a column within the preseason predicting Ekeler would fall off as a result of one of many consensus prime 5 fantasy working backs all the time does**. He had his most yards from scrimmage as a professional. (My unhealthy.) Pay that man (Ekeler) his cash.
(**Jonathan Taylor was your prime 5 lemon.)
Every time Herbert wanted to get again to 3rd and manageable, or convert third and manageable, he all the time appeared Ekeler’s manner. It’s a particular bond between quarterback and receiver, one which I’m struggling to provide you with a metaphor for. So, umm, go fuck your self, San Diego?