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Morning links: Liuget's option picked up

4/18/2014

Good morning. As ESPN Insider Field Yates reported, the San Diego Chargers exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end Corey Liuget's contract for the 2015 season.

Per Yates, teams have until May 3 to make a decision on whether to exercise the fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only until the final day of the 2014 league year. It becomes guaranteed at the start of the next league year.

For players drafted with picks 11-32, the value of the fifth-year option is equal to the average of the 25 highest-paid players at their positions, excluding the top three highest players.

Liuget was selected No. 18 overall in the 2011 draft. He's set to make $1.5 million in total compensation for the upcoming season. According to ESPN Stats & Information records, Liuget would make nearly $7 million in 2015.

Liuget led San Diego in sacks in 2013 with 5.5, and is considered a foundational player for the Chargers, so this news comes as no surprise.

Now, the Chargers can turn their attention to signing the University of Illinois product to a long-term contract, as Liuget will be at the top of the priority list during the 2015 offseason.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco already has shown a willingness to retain young players who perform, including inking middle linebacker Donald Butler and safety Darrell Stuckey to multi-year deals this season.

Expect San Diego to do the same with Liuget, who has developed into one of more disruptive interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay discuss picks 21 through 24 in this year's draft in this audio link.

Gil Brandt of NFL.com offers a list of lesser-known draft prospects creating some buzz with good pro days. Montana middle linebacker Brock Coyle makes the list. He visited the Chargers this week. Also on the list is Eastern Washington defensive tackle Andru Pulu. The Chargers attended his pro day in Seattle.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld has the Chargers selecting Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby at No. 25 and Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant at No. 57 in his two-round mock draft.

Former NFL general manager Jerry Angelo, writing for the National Football Post, debates drafting the best player available vs. drafting for need.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth wonders if NFL running back is the worst job in pro sports.