Chargers, Donald Butler talking contract extension


The Chargers are kicking off a new era with General Manager Tom Telesco and coach Mike McCoy, but there’s at least one player brought in by the last regime that they’d like to keep around beyond the 2013 season.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that talks on a contract extension have started with the agent for linebacker Donald Butler, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal. The talks are expected to continue through the end of August, if necessary, but would come to a halt until after the season if an agreement hasn’t been reached at that point. Butler isn’t sweating that possibility.

“I’m not too worried,” Butler said. “The numbers will get taken care of between my agent and Telesco. I want to stay in San Diego. I think they want me here in San Diego. I love it here. I love the fans. I love my teammates. I’m confident something will get done. I’m not even worried about it.”

Butler missed his rookie season with an Achilles injury, but has started 28 games over the last two years. He has 173 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown in those games, making him a bright spot on a Chargers defense that hasn’t had enough of them. Locking him up would enable the Chargers to put another building block next to safety Eric Weddle as they work toward a return to the playoffs.

And, as Gehlken’s colleague Kevin Acee points out, it would enable them to snap a recent trend under previous General Manager A.J. Smith that has seen the Chargers fail to hold onto their own free agents.  Acee believes that’s something that has to be rectified and that a Butler deal is a good place for the Chargers to start.