Three years ago today, the Chargers agreed to a deal that they probably grew to regret. Fortunately for the organization, they managed to remedy the financial predicament during this past offseason.
Defensive tackle Corey Liuget had been selected by the Chargers in the first round of the 2011 draft, and he proceeded to miss only a single regular season game during his first four years in the NFL. The Illinois product received several accolades during this run, including the David Griggs Memorial Award, which is awarded to team’s defensive player of the year. Coming off a 2014 season that saw him compile 57 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles, Liuget ended up signing a five-year, $58.5MM extension ($30MM guaranteed) with the organization that would kick in at the start of the 2016 campaign.
While the 2015 season didn’t include the extension money, it was the first sign of trouble for Liuget. The defensive lineman was relatively productive in 11 games, collecting 34 tackles and three sacks. However, he ended up landing on the injured reserve after 11 games, ending his season early. He failed to put up big numbers in 2016 (29 tackles, no sacks), and he was limited to only 12 games last year. To make matters worse, Liuget was slapped with a four-game suspension to start the upcoming campaign.
The Chargers were apparently considering a way out of the contract, as they ultimately reworked the lineman’s deal this past offseason. Liuget was set to earn $6MM in 2018 (sacrificing an additional $2MM due to suspension), but his base salary was dropped to less than $1MM.
Surely, the Chargers would have preferred if the defensive lineman had ended up over-performing (or even living up to) his lucrative contract. Fortunately for the organization, they were able to wiggle their way out of a potential financial issue for the upcoming season.
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