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Chargers exercise fifth-year option on Melvin Ingram

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The San Diego Chargers aren't giving up on Melvin Ingram.

The team on Tuesday exercised their fifth-year option for 2016 on the outside linebacker they snagged with the 18th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, a source informed of the move told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The added year will cost the Chargers $7.751 million.

It's a strong show of faith in Ingram, who has appeared in just 13 games over the past two seasons. The fourth-year defender played in four games in 2013 after tearing his ACL the previous May. Last season, Ingram played just nine games after spending half the season on IR-recall with a hip injury. His four sacks last autumn marked a career high but that's coming from a player with just six total takedowns over three campaigns.

It's worth noting that fifth-year options are not guaranteed, meaning San Diego is simply locking down a player who displayed a fair amount of pass-rushing ability last season. "Melvin has flashed and shown when he's healthy how dominant he can be," retired Chargers linebacker Jarret Johnson said in February.

The Chargers could use more help at outside linebacker. With Dwight Freeney on the open market, pressure falls on Ingram and second-year pass rusher Jeremiah Attaochu to fulfill their potential. Running back stands out as San Diego's top draft need, but don't be surprised if the Bolts look for more pass-rushing help during this year's selection process.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes back Colleen Wolfe to the show and breaks down team needs heading into the draft. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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