Chargers News: Jim Harbaugh Would Love to Have Key Bolts Free Agent Back Next Season

The Bolts have a massive offseason ahead of them.

The Los Angeles Chargers have a massive offseason ahead of themselves. After posting a disappointing 5-12 record last season, the Bolts will be looking to get back into the playoff picture for 2024.

They hired Jim Harbaugh to take over as the head coach, bringing some needed edge to this team. Los Angeles is expected to be transformed into a powerhouse franchise with Harbaugh at the helm, even if it takes some time to build. 

Harbaugh loves to have run-heavy style offenses, so one key component for this offseason will be to beef up the offensive line. He also needs a quality back to lead the offensive attack, and it seems that he may have one player in mind. 

The Chargers running back for the last few seasons has been Austin Ekeler, and Harbaugh seems to be a fan of his. Ekeler is scheduled to be a free agent, but the Bolts new head coach hinted at wanting him back next year.

“If things go well, it’s going to be because of guys like Austin Ekeler and the players,” Harbaugh said. “I like Austin Ekeler. We’re going to have a huge emphasis on the run game, and we gotta block better up front. He’s a tremendous back and we’d love to have him on the team next year. But yeah, things go well, it’s kind of because of all the players. If it goes bad, it’s because I’m a bad manager, I’m a bad coach.”

Per Jim Harbaugh via NBC Sports

Ekeler had a down 2023 season, but that was in part due to injuries. He played in 14 games, posting 628 yards and five touchdowns. Compared to his production from years past, it was a bad year for the veteran.

But under a system with Harbaugh, Ekeler could see his numbers jump back up. He is a special back who has a nose for getting into the endzone. 

Anytime a head coach likes a player, they typically are retained. Maybe that will be the case here with Ekeler, but the Chargers have a lot to look into.

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