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Austin Ekeler explains leaving Chargers: 'They want a guy they can hand the ball off to 300 times a year'

The Los Angeles Chargers' offseason remake mainly focused on the overhaul at receiver, but the running back room in L.A. also underwent turnover.

The Chargers let Austin Ekeler walk in free agency after years of the running back haggling over salary with the previous administration. They imported two former Baltimore Ravens, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins, and drafted Kimani Vidal in the sixth round to go along with Isaiah Spiller, Elijah Dotson and Jaret Patterson.

Speaking recently on the Up & Adams Show, Ekeler harbored no ill will toward his previous organization and stated matter-of-factly that the new brass was looking for something different than what he brought to the table.

"I think you can kind of see how they've been building the team so far this offseason," Ekeler said. "Went out and drafted a tackle first round, brought in some bigger backs over from Baltimore. So it's like, hey, they want a guy they can hand the ball off to 300 times a year and, look, I haven't had that capacity to do that. That's not my game. That's not how Austin Ekeler's gonna be the best on the field. So there was the misalignment there, which, no harm, no foul, I'm going to go find somewhere else where Austin can be the best version of myself out there."

Under Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers certainly seem like a club that wants a power element to the run game, hence the Edwards addition. However, we'll likely see a committee approach -- especially if Dobbins proves healthy -- and not a 300-carry season from anyone in the Chargers' backfield.

Meanwhile, after seeing his production dip last year due to injuries, Ekeler heads to the Washington Commanders as a pass-catching and change-of-pace option in Kliff Kingsbury's offense alongside power back Brian Robinson and second-year RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.. The 29-year-old will likely get back to a role similar to what he enjoyed earlier in his career in L.A. when he was a more significant part of the passing game than a run option.

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