12:17pm: Rinehart’s new deal is worth $6MM over two years, with $2MM guaranteed, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports.
12:00pm: The Chargers have officially re-signed Rinehart, the team announced today (Twitter link).
11:42am: Offensive lineman Chad Rinehart will be forgoing unrestricted free agency and re-signing with the Chargers, a source tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Rinehart’s new deal will be a two-year pact, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
Rinehart, 28, has never started more than 12 games in any of his five NFL seasons, but has been effective when he’s healthy and playing. Appearing in all 16 games with the Bills in 2011, the former third-round pick recorded a +16.1 grade, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, placing him ninth overall among guards. Last season, Rinehart stayed on the field for the Chargers’ playoff run, and played well in both of the team’s postseason contests.
When I evaluated the market for free agent guards, I ranked Rinehart in the second tier of potentially available options due to questions about his health. However, he has the upside to be an above-average starter, and the Chargers may have been able to retain him at a reduced rate due to those question marks.