Austin Ekeler leading RB revolt with Zoom meeting of biggest names

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers is reportedly leading a Zoom meeting with fellow running backs to discuss the devalued market for their position.

This past Monday, the market for NFL running backs became a hot topic of conversation. That is because neither Saquon Barkley nor Josh Jacobs could secure a contract extension with the New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders by the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline to ensure they don’t play on the franchise tag. With two of the best running backs in the NFL last year unable to secure a long-term deal with their teams, players of their position were outspoken and voiced their displeasure with the news.

Now, running backs are going to try and find a solution to the teams’ lack of value placed in their position.

According to ProFootballTalk, Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers is going to hold a Zoom meeting on Saturday night with fellow running backs to discuss the state of the market. Per the outlet, there are big-name running backs that were invited to the meeting.

Austin Ekeler holding a Zoom meeting with running backs to discuss market

Ekeler was among the first running backs to voice his displeasure after the news that Barkley and Jacobs will have to play on the $10.1 million franchise tag for the upcoming season. Other big names that took to Twitter to express their disgust over the continued lack of progress in the running back contract market were Christian McCaffrey of the San Francisco 49ers, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, and Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.

It was a heartbreaking day for running backs. According to the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy, the Giants and Barkley were “within $1 million to $2 million on both ends of Barkley’s reduced asking price,” but both sides no longer wanted to budge. As for Jacobs, he was reportedly sitting in his car with teammate Maxx Crosby waiting to enter the team facility to sign a contract before the deadline. But, the Raiders and Jacobs could not finalize an agreement.

What makes things interesting is that both Barkley and Jacobs did not sign their franchise tags, so they won’t be punished for skipping out on training camp. Barkley had floated the idea of potentially sitting out games this season, but it’s unknown if he will go that route.

Earlier this offseason, Ekeler requested a trade from the Chargers as he sought a new contract. Eventually, the two sides agreed to terms on a restructured contract that added $1.75 million in incentives to the last year of his current deal. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

One thing is for certain, the running backs are trying to come up with solutions on how to approach this situation.

Next. Raiders: Davante Adams lays down the law on Josh Jacobs drama. dark