Continue for updates.
Liuget, Chargers Finalize Extension
Tuesday, June 9
The Chargers confirmed in a release that they have agreed to a contract extension with Liuget.
General manager Tom Telesco discussed the move:
Corey is a consummate team player who goes about his work in an unselfish manner. His preparation and dedication to the game and the Chargers has been evident since day one. Corey is talented, tough and durable, and plays a very important role in our defense. This extension is another reflection of our commitment to investing in our core players and homegrown talent.
Liuget also spoke in the statement:
I want to thank the Spanos family, Tom Telesco and all my coaches for helping to make this extension possible. This is a dream come true. The Chargers are the only team I’ve ever wanted to play for since they drafted me and my number-one goal now as it has always been is just to continue to prepare and play at a high level to show them how much I appreciate their confidence in me.
Liuget was the 18th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, just turned 25 in March and has played in all but one possible regular-season game since joining the Chargers. His toughness and ability to defend the run and pass well make him a key cog in San Diego's front seven.
ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams recently weighed in on why the Chargers should be excited to have Liuget in the fold for the next phase of his career:
At 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, the expectation is Liuget will blossom into a Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman for the Chargers. He has shown flashes during his four years in San Diego, with dominant performances at times. However, Liuget needs to take over games on a weekly basis, as he did in winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in a Week 3 victory at Buffalo last season.
Although the Chargers appear to have bigger fish to fry between quarterback Philip Rivers and safety Eric Weddle—according to Spotrac, both could become free agents in 2016—Liuget is an important leader in his own right.
Liuget has been with San Diego long enough to grasp the sense of urgency needed moving forward. He can implore other young defensive players such as Jason Verrett and Denzel Perryman to raise their level of play in a 2015 campaign that is vital to the Chargers' trajectory.
San Diego has had the talent to go to the Super Bowl, but it hasn't quite broken through with Rivers under center, and his future beyond this year is uncertain.