San Diego Chargers: Weddle, not Liuget, should get contract extension


Money is the name of the game in today’s NFL.

Whether you would like to admit it or not, money runs most NFL franchises and their decisions from player acquisitions, trades, and, most importantly, contract extensions.

More from Los Angeles Chargers

For the San Diego Chargers, money has made its way into one too many conversations this offseason. From the recent stadium negotiations to contract negotiations, the Chargers front office has made some great moves (Orlando Franklin, Jacoby Jones, Melvin Gordon, Joe Barksdale, D.J. Fluker, etc.), but also some poor moves (absence of extensions for quarterback Philip Rivers and free safety Eric Weddle).

According to Ian Rapoport, a new deal is looking to be in place for Corey Liuget in the coming weeks.

As stated in Rapoport’s tweet, Liuget is considered a “priority” to be re-signed.

Now, as many Charger fans will do, we will accept this news as any other piece of information: we will digest it and then move on.

I, for one, am putting my foot down on such a process considering the absurdity of such a piece of information given from Rapoport. Rapoport is correct in his facts and such; he is not to blame for my anger. Rather, Tom Telesco and the Chargers front office are the real targets of my impending frustration.

Before I start this article, I will say that Corey Liuget is the best defensive end on the Chargers. Is he the best defensive end in the league? Definitely not. In the AFC? Nay. In the AFC West? Questionable.

Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget (94) on the field during the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Liuget, a former first round selection out of the University of Illinois, has done an adequate job since he was first drafted. Adequate, but not exceptional. In his four seasons with San Diego, Liuget has totaled 169 tackles, 18.0 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and 15 passes defended.


If we’re counting averages here, Liuget has averaged 42.45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.25 forced fumbles, and 3.75 passes defended per season since coming into the NFL. You can look at his snap counts and come to the conclusion that he has been one of the Chargers best defensive lineman over the past four years, which is true considering the Chargers defensive line has been somewhat of a joke against the run and in getting pressure on the quarterback.

Sure, Liuget lead the Bolts in tackles for loss with 11 in 2014. Other than his 57 tackles and 11 tackles for loss, Liuget holds no other value for the Bolts in terms of rushing the quarterback.

In an offseason where Eric Weddle and Philip Rivers are without contracts past the 2015 season, Liuget should not be a top priority. There is only one Philip Rivers and one Eric Weddle in the NFL. Weddle is an elite safety whereas Liuget is not an elite defensive end.

By calling Liuget’s contract extension a “priority” is the equivalent of telling Eric Weddle, an actual All-Pro selection, that Liuget’s future with the Chargers is more important that his.

I think that the Chargers need to wait till after the 2015 season to offer Liuget an extension. Just because Liuget jumped from 42 to 57 total tackles and from three to 11 tackles for loss between 2013 and 2014, doesn’t necessarily mean he deserves an extension. If anything, I’d give Liuget 2015 to try and earn a new contract in 2016.

It would be smarter for both sides in the sense that if Liuget does well in 2015, the Chargers know for certain the 25 year-old is their DE of the future and Liuget can get more money. If the Bolts sign Liuget to a multi-year extension (say through 2018) and he does poorly in 2015, then there is the potential for some lost salary cap money and a huge defensive problem.

Oct 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers outside linebacker

Dwight Freeney

(93) and defensive end Corey Liuget (94) look at an iPad on the sideline as nose tackle

Sean Lissemore

(right) talks to defensive back

Jahleel Addae

(one from right) during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Overall though, the Chargers are in talks and are leaning towards signing Liuget to an extension.

In an interview with Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Liuget stated “Before I sign anything, I want to know the basis of everything and how it’s going to go…Right now, they’re talking. I’m just sitting and waiting. If it happens, it happens. It not, at the end of the day, I get to play football, and that’s all that matters.”

We’ll see how Liuget’s contract situation plays out. Till then though, I will continue to be unapologetic to the Chargers front office until they address Eric Weddle’s situation. The way Telesco and Coach McCoy have treated Weddle is disappointing to say the least.

As for Liuget, I still remain questioning of his overall abilities. In order for Liuget to truly earn any type of extension, I think he needs to bring his intensity each and every single game. Do not get it confused: Liuget has talent. I think he just needs to shows us that talent week-in and week-out in order to be considered a “priority” as the Bolts have labeled him.

We’ll see what 2015 has in store for us. I am optimistic, but also a realist when it comes to big-time contracts, folks.

Next: The 2015 San Diego Chargers Most Handsome Man Contest

More from NFL Spin Zone