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Donald Butler | Linebacker

Team: San Diego Chargers
Age / DOB:  (26) / 10/17/1988
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 242
College: Washington
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Updating previous items, ILB Donald Butler's new "seven-year" deal is actually a three-year, $19.8 million contract.
The on-paper value is $51.8 million over seven seasons, but the Bolts have a $12 million club option available after three years. Butler's signing bonus is $11.15 million. Before the option, Butler's deal is a three-year commitment worth $6.6 million annually. It's still a more team-friendly contract than the Dolphins gave Dannell Ellerbe in 2013. Ellerbe makes $6.95 million a year. Mar 5 - 11:21 PM

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Date:

Chargers ILB Donald Butler's new seven-year contract has a max value of $48 million, with $28 million guaranteed.

The monetary numbers look big, but are less so when stretched across seven seasons. The annual average is under $7 million even with incentives built in. The Dolphins gave ILB Dannell Ellerbe a per-year average of $6.95 million last March. Butler is only 25, so a deal like this makes sense for this particular player. The first three years of Butler's deal are worth just under $20 million, and the Chargers essentially hold a club "option" for the remaining four seasons.
Mar 3 - 11:40 AM

Chargers re-signed ILB Donald Butler to a multi-year contract.

The 25-year-old was the top projected free agent on the inside linebacker market. A 2010 third-round pick out of Washington, Butler's career started slow with an Achilles' tendon tear but he's come on strong the past three seasons as a versatile three-down 'backer with plus coverage skills. He's an ascending player. The second level of DC John Pagano's 2014 defense should be all but set now, with Butler and Manti Te'o inside, and Dwight Freeney bookended by a healthy Melvin Ingram at outside linebacker. Look for GM Tom Telesco to attack cornerback and nose tackle in free agency and May's draft.
Feb 28 - 2:54 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego reports ILB Donald Butler remains the Chargers' "top priority" in free agency, and believes a long-term deal will "ultimately get done."

The sides are negotiating at the Combine, and both coach Mike McCoy and GM Tom Telesco have been lathering on praise. Rotoworld's No. 1 free-agent inside linebacker, Butler is a strong candidate for the franchise tag if the Bolts don't believe they can reach a long-term agreement before the start of free agency.
Feb 20 - 10:19 PM

The Chargers and free agent ILB Donald Butler have resumed contract negotiations.

The two sides broke off talks ahead of the 2013 season and had planned to rekindle them after the Super Bowl. Both the Chargers and Butler would like to get something hammered out before free agency opens on March 11. The franchise tag is a possibility, though the Bolts would like to use it as a tool to buy more time to pound out a long-term deal this offseason rather than commit $10 million. Butler checks in as our No. 1 free-agent inside linebacker.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 13 - 11:04 AM

Chargers GM Tom Telesco expects to resume long-term talks with impending free agent ILB Donald Butler after the Super Bowl.

The sides failed to reach an extension in training camp. "He played some really good football late this year," Telesco said of Butler. "Hopefully, he likes the direction this team is going in, and hopefully, he wants to be here. We'll see where that goes." Butler notched 84 tackles, 0.5 sacks and an interception this season despite missing four games with a groin injury. He forced a fumble in the Chargers' Wild Card win over the Bengals, and picked off Peyton Manning on Sunday. Butler doesn't turn 25 until October.
Jan 15 - 5:34 PM

Impending free agent ILB Donald Butler suffered a concussion in Sunday's Divisional Round loss to Denver.

The Chargers' season is over, of course, but the concussion is worth filing away for bookkeeping purposes. Butler, 25, is entering 2014 free agency after the sides failed to reach an in-season extension. Butler led San Diego in playoff tackles (17), and finished second to Eric Weddle in the regular season (84).
Jan 13 - 1:18 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (probable, groin) will return to the starting lineup in Week 10 after missing three games.

Just as Butler returns, San Diego lost edge-setting OLB Jarret Johnson to a hamstring injury in Thursday's practice. Johnson was sidelined Friday and is listed as questionable to face Denver. An every-down inside linebacker and arguably San Diego's best defensive player, Butler has 31 tackles in five games this year. He's worth grabbing in IDP leagues if he was dropped.
Fri, Nov 8, 2013 09:35:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (groin) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.

Butler suffered a setback with his groin injury in Week 5 and still hasn't returned to practice. Andrew Gachkar will replace him in the starting lineup, while Manti Te'o will call the defensive plays in his absence. OLB Jarret Johnson (hamstring) is questionable after practicing on a limited basis this week.
Sat, Oct 19, 2013 06:45:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (groin) and OLB Jarret Johnson (hamstring) are inactive for Monday night's Week 6 game against the Colts.

Both players were listed as questionable. The Chargers' other two questionable players, RT D.J. Fluker (calf) and CB Richard Marshall (groin), are active. Manti Te'o will call the defensive plays with Butler out. The Chargers other inactives are LG Chad Rinehart (toe), S Brandon Taylor, T Mike Remmers, DE Lawrence Guy, and QB Brad Sorensen. Ryan Mathews (concussion) is active.
Mon, Oct 14, 2013 07:20:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (groin) remained out of practice Saturday.

It's the same groin injury that he's been playing through all season. Butler hasn't practiced at all this week and is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against the Colts. The Chargers could also be without OLB Jarret Johnson (questionable, hamstring) for Week 6.
Sat, Oct 12, 2013 02:47:00 PM

Although Chargers ILB Donald Butler (groin) is active for Week 3, he is not playing against the Titans.

He's on the sideline in full gear and is not expected to play any snaps. Butler suffered a groin injury in Week 2 and barely practiced during the week. San Diego is without both of its starting inside linebackers, as rookie Manti Te'o (foot) also has yet to make his NFL debut.
Sun, Sep 22, 2013 01:19:00 PM

Chargers ILB Donald Butler (groin) is not practicing Wednesday.

Butler has a minor groin injury and expects to practice later this week. He should be fine for Week 3 against the Titans.
Wed, Sep 18, 2013 04:32:00 PM

The Union-Tribune San Diego reports extension talks are "quiet" between the Chargers and contract-year ILB Donald Butler.

Per beat writer Michael Gehlken, the talks are expected to be tabled until the offseason, "barring a development over the next week." Butler emerged as a three-down linebacker in 2012, and is one of the few true bright spots for a team in transition. Betting on himself this season could prove quite lucrative for Butler.
Tue, Sep 3, 2013 01:10:00 PM

The Chargers have opened contract extension talks with ILB Donald Butler.

Butler, 24, emerged as a three-down linebacker last season and had 77 tackles and three sacks before missing the final four games due to injury. The Union-Tribune San Diego reports that "talks are ongoing," but expected to be put on hold once the season begins. A 2010 third-round pick, Butler is currently scheduled to make $1.32 million in the final year of his rookie deal.
Sat, Aug 3, 2013 10:20:00 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Philip Rivers
2Kellen Clemens
RB1Ryan Mathews
2Donald Brown
3Branden Oliver
4Shaun Draughn
5Ronnie Brown
GLB1Ryan Mathews
2Donald Brown
3RB1Donald Brown
2Branden Oliver
FB1David Johnson
WR11Keenan Allen
2Seyi Ajirotutu
3Dontrelle Inman
WR21Malcom Floyd
2Eddie Royal
WR31Eddie Royal
TE1Antonio Gates
2Ladarius Green
3John Phillips
K1Nick Novak