San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget is among the most underrated players in the NFL. Playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme is hard work, but it won’t get you the notoriety of some other high-profile positions on that side of the ball.
All that matters for the former first-round pick is that his team apparently values what he brings to the table. Accordingly, NFL Media is reporting that the Chargers and Liuget have agreed to an extension that will pay him $50 million over five seasons.
Liuget, the 18th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, has started all 16 games in each of the past three years, recording a total of 17 sacks and three forced fumbles during that span. He finished this past season as the 20th-best 3-4 defensive end from a pass-rushing standpoint (via Pro Football Focus, subscription required).
More than that, the former Illinois standout does a tremendous job holding the line of scrimmage from the end position, eventually opening up pass-rush lanes for the team’s 3-4 outside linebackers. Unfortunately for the Chargers, that outside linebacker position has been an issue in recent seasons. If the combination of 2014 second-round pick Jeremiah Attaochu and Melvin Ingram can up their games, it will make Liuget’s impact even more well known moving forward.
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