Aug 9, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Donald Butler (56) on the sidelines during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Preparing for life without Donald Butler

Contract talks are yet to heat up as free agency approaches in 15 days. The Chargers have a huge decision to make if Butler chooses not to re-sign with the team. Who would fill in that huge gap in the middle? Both parties have expressed interest in staying together long term, but at the end of the day the NFL is still a business and every player wants to get paid. Losing Butler will mean we will be missing a very important piece of our defense. He is an athletic middle linebacker and when healthy he’s an impact player on the field. One of the knocks on Butler though has been his health,  he’s been hit with the injury bug since his rookie season and hasn’t been able to withstand an entire season. Hopefully that can help lower his price tag to be able to keep him in beautiful San Diego. Butler racked up 0.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 84 tackles which lead all Chargers linebackers. Below will few players the Chargers should target to try and fill the void via the 2014 NFL Draft or free agency if Donald Duck decides to pursue the dough.

Top 5 possible replacements

Shayne Skov out of Stanford- Is just one nasty linebacker that is always in the backfield and around the ball. One of the things I love about Skov is that he plays fast and aggressive.  He measures in at 6’3, 245 pounds. He is likely going to be selected in the 2nd or 3rd round but if he slips to the 4th round Telesco should defiantly pull the trigger on this guy. This highlight video below speaks for itself.

Christian Jones out of FSU- A versatile, rangy, athletic linebacker that can play  inside or outside linebacker. At 6’3 he has the size and speed to cover a lot of ground. He can rush the passer and drop in coverage as well. I would not mind the Chargers using a 5th or 6th round pick on him. Below are a few highlights of Christian Jones

Arthur Moats- Is an experienced, versatile player that play inside and outside linebacker. Moats possesses good size (6’2) and speed. One of the things I like about Moats is that he’s an efficient tackler and that’s something the 2013 Chargers lacked. He also has youth in his side at 25 years old and it’s something Tom Telesco has expressed interest in.l.

Wesley Woodyard- I wouldn’t mind the Chargers plucking away one of Broncos linebackers. Last year they took one ours, in the aging Shaun Phillips. According to Woodyard racked up 84 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception. Similar statistics to Butler’s season. Woodyard is still pretty young at 27 years old. I know Woodyard is 4-3 Linebacker, but I’m sure  coach Pagano will have some exotic defensive schemes to get the best players on the field and put them in the best position to make plays.

Reggie Walker- Every Charger fan should know about this guy. He was brought in as free agent that had played under Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona. Walker played an important role for the Chargers defense all season long. He filled in for Butler admirably well when he was hurt and also helped out at outside linebacker. Walker is an underrated linebacker that has decent pass rush ability and coverage skills. Hopefully Chargers can resign this guy too.  What I like about him is that he plays his butt off on the field and knows the Chargers defensive scheme.

All these linebackers have one thing in common, that is their versatility and it’s just one many traits and abilities Tom Telesco looks for in a player. Let’s all just hope Butler makes the right decision and re-signs with the San Diego Super Chargers!

Thanks for reading!

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  • Trey P

    Is this the best free agent iNside linebackers you could come up with. Its wayyyy better ILBs available then the ones you mentioned..

    • Rich Plascencia⚡️

      Yes, we don’t have the cap room so I thought about cheap,solid replacements . I don’t think he’s worth the big contract if he can’t stay on the field.

  • 619chargers4life

    I would be shocked if we let Butler test the market , but I wouldn’t be upset. We need a 16 plus game stud , I can’t stand all the injuries we have to deal with throughout the year with so many players including Butler , The guy is a beast though after a few healthy games. TT has a tough decision to make I’m sure . If he gets released I say go through the draft .

    • Nick Mansoor

      TT is lowballing with Butlers agent. Things don’t look too good. I knew that would happen. He should just pay the man. He deserves it

  • Alex Pitrofsky

    You’re acting like he already left. I’m sure we’ll resign him, it’ll be okay.

  • tubbs45

    It would be a bummer to lose him. There are free agents out there,but they often want the same kind of money…

  • gpack17

    No disrespect but this post was probably a waste of time. If the chargers don’t get him to sign a long term deal right away, then they will most likely franchise tag him so they can work on an extension in the next year.

    • Rich Plascencia⚡️

      Franchising him would not be the smartest idea, the tag is about 10 million and the cap that the Chargers have is not much

  • Julien Bélair

    The high pick on teo seems pretty darn good now.

    But this post is wayyy too early. Butler will be sign 15 days is more than enough

  • Raphael Rodriguez

    He can’t sign the contract because we don’t have the salary cap room to sign him!!!!!!!!! Wait until TT starts trimming the fat(cap casualties) and then if we can’t sign him, you chicken little HO-mies can start talking about how the sky is fallin.

    • Stefanie Smith

      NFL just posted that the salary cap for 2014 will be around $130 mill. Yes, we have the cap space.

      • Rich Plascencia⚡️

        There is still other players to sign

        • Stefanie Smith

          Yes, and how much do you think Butler wants? Figure in what he is already getting paid…and the increase would likely not be that much. He is good and he is experienced and the cap is at $130 mill. There will likely be some cuts and maybe even a restructure. The sky is not falling.

      • Raphael Rodriguez

        youre right on the money! why cant i find a woman whos as into football as you? BOLT UP

  • Brett M

    Probably one reason chargers were looking at Zumwalt from UCLA


    I honestly don’t know what is taking so long.
    Haven’t heard much, if anything lately.

    All i know is Butler better be back!!!!!

  • Preston Niedert

    The chargers shouldn’t break the bank on one LB that hasn’t proven he worth the mony. The chargers have to many holes to fill and limited cap space so let him walk. Do the patriots pay any of there players big money that hasn’t earned it? No they let them go and bring in players that are willing to take a fair contract and that’s why there able compete every year. There are a dime a dozen LB on the market or in the draft anyway its up to the GM and his team if the player deserve a big contract.

    • CALiFORNiAkiD

      So much wrong going on in this post…

  • Raphael Rodriguez

    They’re able to make the post season time after time because of a man named Tom Brady. Bills a great coach but how much success. Did he have become before he drafted the great one?? Food for thought.

    • boltingindiego

      they had a winning season with cassell as the starter for 15 games. Its the system, the division, bill, and brady which helps with their success.

      • Raphael Rodriguez

        There’s a lot of variables that factor in, no doubt about it, but Tom is a 2 time MVPand has helped lead the patriots to how many AFC championship games? And how many super bowls? Matt cassell played in the same offense practically at KC and didn’t do squat. Tom Brady can succeed in any offense in my opinion because he can read defenses and shreds dudes on option routes as long as the receivers see the same thing. But that’s just my opinion

  • jamfed

    I do like Butler as a team captain and leader, but he is 100% replaceable. He’s probably seeking $6 million per year, when I’d rather pay a pass rusher like Michael Johnson (Bengals) than pay the Broken Butler.

  • C.Steele

    I hadn’t really even seriously entertained the thought of loosing him, util this article! Surely, they will come to a reasonable deal (Fingers crossed)! #GoBolts!

  • Kevin Manning

    I believe TT will work very hard to resign Butler.. The Chargers already have to many needs this off season to let him walk. But, this is a funny business!

  • Stefanie Smith

    If you can’t get paid when you do a good job, what the heck! Pay the man, and TT and the Chargers should be reasonable but fair. Pay him the going rate. TT better not be starting a trend and letting everyone walk like AJ did. That is not being a GM.

  • Stefanie Smith

    There was an article posted that the salary cap is likely going to be raised to around $130 mill. Yes, we have the cap space to sign the man.