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Donald Butler contract details

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, San Diego Chargers middle linebacker Donald Butler's new contract could be worth up to $48 million over seven years.

But essentially, according to Rapoport's report, the contract is a three-year deal worth nearly $20 million, with $12 million guaranteed.

According to Rapoport, Butler's contract has a team option after the third year, in which the Chargers can pick up the final four years of the contract at an average between $8 million and $9.5 million per year. That portion of the contract includes another $15 million in guaranteed money.

My initial reaction is that's more than I thought it would take to sign Butler, a good player who has shown potential but has yet to make a Pro Bowl in his four-year professional career. I also wonder if Butler would have received a similar deal out on the open market.

However, I give Chargers general manager Tom Telesco credit for negotiating a creative contract that keeps a player the organization coveted in the fold, but also protects the franchise in case Butler continues to have injury issues.