The San Diego Chargers and starting OLT Marcus McNeill agreed to terms Wednesday on a new contract through the 2015 season.
An NFL source said McNeill’s five-year extension is worth $48.5 million with $24.5 million guaranteed. McNeill will earn roughly $30.5 million in the first three years of the deal. However, not all of the guaranteed money is for skill. McNeill’s one-year base salary was reduced from $3.168 million to just $630,000 because he had not signed his restricted free-agent tender by June 15. It’s not known if the Chargers were willing to give him more money for 2010.
“Marcus is a extremely talented player,” general manager A.J. Smith said. “We look forward to him being an integral part of our offensive line for years to come.”
McNeill is in his fifth NFL season after joining the team as a second-round draft choice out of Auburn University in 2006. He missed Weeks 3-5 on the Roster Exempt list, but joined the active roster again this week and is eligible to play against St. Louis. He practiced with the team for the last three weeks after agreeing to an initial one-year contract.
McNeill earned All-Pro honors as a rookie and is a two-time Pro Bowl honoree. He became the third offensive lineman in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl in his first season in the league.
The Chargers now have three players signed through 2015, including QB Philip Rivers, TE Antonio Gates and McNeill.
McNeill is expected to play his first game of the season this Sunday at the Rams, but the team hasn't decided whether he or backup OT Brandyn Dombrowski will start.
- Adam Caplan