Buffalo Bills Rumors: Revisiting an Austin Ekeler trade with 3 new deals
By Ryan Heckman
The NFL offseason is always a wild ride, and we have not been shorted on stories or rumors this year. While the Buffalo Bills haven’t exactly been center stage for the top stories across the league this offseason, they could be soon enough.
Bills fans would agree that this offense is a good one, but is missing just one more piece.
Wednesday, it was reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Los Angeles Chargers have officially given star running back Austin Ekeler permission to seek a trade. Ekeler has wanted a new deal, but the Chargers have been unwilling to meet those expectations.
Now that the Chargers have made the news official, there are no more secrets. Ekeler wants out. He wants a new deal, and we knew those things. But now, the Chargers are willing to move on.
Since the rest of the league knows this, we now have to temper our expectations for a trade return. With that in mind, just how exactly could he end up in Buffalo?
One of the following three trades could see the Buffalo Bills land Austin Ekeler
In this first deal, the Bills trade edge rusher A.J. Epenesa and a pair of picks in exchange for Ekeler.
Epenesa is on the last year of his contract, and based on how he’s performed since being drafted by the Bills, Buffalo could move on after this year and find a replacement. The edge rusher position is now manned by Von Miller and Gregory Rousseau for the near future, and Epenesa has been wildly inconsistent, especially against the run.
The Chargers get a fairly valuable selection in the third round, this year, along with a fifth rounder next year.
One thing we have to remember when talking about a 27-year-old running back is that the NFL rarely sees these guys paid. And, if Ekeler comes to Buffalo, he’ll want a new deal. That means Buffalo will not only give up draft capital, but commit to Ekeler financially going forward.
In the end, the Bills will likely be committing to Ekeler through age 30, and that’s somewhat scary, which is why they shouldn’t give up the farm. A few weeks ago, we put together some pretty bold trades for the Bills to land Ekeler. However, now, the narrative reads a bit differently.