At least that is what Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently proposed in a column posted on Thursday, April 6.
Moton was tasked with arguing both for and against a potential Austin Ekeler addition for several “NFL contenders” including Gang Green.
“Assuming the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers eventually come to terms on an Aaron Rodgers trade, Gang Green could acquire a dual-threat running back as a welcome present for the four-time league MVP.
In Green Bay, Rodgers had a high-level Pro Bowl running back in Aaron Jones, who can run and catch out of the backfield. The Jets can feature Ekeler in the short passing game while Breece Hall works his way back into game shape from a torn ACL.”
Evaluating the Austin Ekeler Discussion
Ekeler is only 5-foot-10 and weighs 200 pounds soaking wet. He is 27 years of age but he will turn 28 before the start of the 2023 season.
The former Western Colorado product is heading into the last year of his contract and is set to make just $6.25 million in base salary.
Ekeler wanted a long-term deal this offseason that would reward him for the unique value he brings to the table. For one reason or another, the Chargers refused to meet his asking price and granted him permission to seek a trade.
Ekeler initially entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent back in 2017. He has been woefully underpaid throughout his career and wants to go to a team that values him properly.
In six professional seasons, Ekeler has put up some insane production. He has rushed for 3,727 rushing yards, averaged 4.6 yards per clip, and has 34 rushing touchdowns.
Ekeler has also contributed in the passing game which makes him even more valuable. During that same span of time, he has caught 389 receptions for 3,448 receiving yards, and has hauled in 29 touchdowns through the air.
Too Rich for the Jets Blood in 2023
In theory, this potential trade sounds great on paper.
Ekeler is a versatile touchdown machine that can contribute in a multitude of ways.
However, he wants a new contract that will place him among the highest-paid running backs in football. The Jets would also have to satisfy the Chargers with trade compensation to even have the rights to negotiate with Ekeler.
Maybe some NFL team will make a big deal for him this offseason, but it just doesn’t seem up the Jets’ alley.
Hall is coming off of a torn ACL and the team could use some insurance behind him. Although there is a lot of optimism around his recovery timeline and Brian Costello of the New York Post said that Hall is “expected to be ready” for the 2023 season opener.
The rest of the running backs on the Jets roster are nowhere near as talented as Hall but they can probably get the job done.
At least that is how the coaching staff has reacted this offseason. When head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the team’s possible interest in former Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott he replied, “we love our running back room, I’ll leave it at that.”