Chargers keep veteran WR Eddie Royal


Keenan Allen had one of the most impressive rookie seasons for an NFL receiver in recent memory. However, the San Diego Chargers’ receiver group is one of the youngest position groups on the team.

So keeping a productive, experienced hand around like Eddie Royal is important. Royal, who turns 28 in May, was to make $4.5 million in base salary for the upcoming season –- a high figure that made the Virginia Tech product a potential salary-cap causality.

However, I can confirm a report by Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego that Royal agreed to restructure his contract to a reduced, more cap-friendly number. Royal’s 2014 salary was guaranteed at a lower number that allows him to recoup some of the lost salary through incentives.

The move creates more cap space for the Chargers to bring back other potential free agents, such as the recent re-signing of middle linebacker Donald Butler. Royal will become an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

Royal was a mainstay at slot receiver for the Chargers in 2013, developing a good rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers. Royal gamely played with turf toe for most of the season, missing just one game. He also provides versatility with an ability to return punts and kicks.

Last season, his most productive as a Charger, he finished with 47 receptions for 631 yards and a career-high eight touchdown catches.