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Friday, February 28, 2014

Chargers sign LB Donald Butler to multi-year deal

By on 2/28/2014 07:30:00 PM

There is no doubt that San Diego Chargers' inside linebacker Donald Butler is talented. The versatile linebacker is a tackling machine for the Baby Blues, and has turned into a real menace for opposing offenses. Expect Butler to patrol the waters of the AFC West for years to come, as the fourth year stud signed a multi-year contract to remain in Southern California with the Bolts today.

Butler was the first to announce the deal, jumping on Twitter to tweet out his future.
Butler's talent has been on display in San Diego since being selected with the 79th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He is a three down linebacker, and has shown versatility in both the pass and run game.

Marianne O' Leary, Wikimedia Commons

As noted by Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Butler's decision to remain with the Chargers has kept intact a linebacker crew to be envious of in the AFC West. With Melvin Ingram, Manti Te'o, Dwight Freeney, and Butler, the Chargers have an excellent blend of identity in their linebacker core. Te'o and Butler are every down players, and Freeney and Ingram are quality pass rushers and run stuffers.

The Chargers defense showed flashes of brilliance in the playoffs last season, ridiculing Bengals' quarterback Andy Dalton and "holding" the Broncos record-setting offense to only 24 points in a narrow divisional round loss.

The decision to re-sign Butler was an easy one if you solely analyze his on-the-field production. With that in mind, Butler has missed seven games over the last two seasons due to Achilles and groin injuries. While seven games is far from a crippling figure, losing your co-captain for any length of time will always hurt your team. It's impossible to go through a career without injury, but stability at the inside linebacker position is key for effective communication on defense.

The Chargers always envisioned a future that included Butler, and now they can focus on adding a cornerback or defensive linemen that could potentially push their defense to the next level. In a division filled with Pro Bowl talent, building a strong defense is a major priority for the Chargers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the re-signing was corroborated by Albert Breer on Twitter.
The Bolts have their man, and can now focus on finally getting Philip Rivers the ring he deserves.


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