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Monday, March 3, 2014
Donald Butler contract details

By Eric D. Williams

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.