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Donald Butler, San Diego Chargers agree to contract

The San Diego Chargers locked up their top offseason priority.

Linebacker Donald Butler announced Friday via his Twitter account that he has agreed to re-sign with the Chargers.

The team later confirmed the deal.

The 25-year-old inside linebacker started in 12 games in 2013 and came on strong down the stretch. He finished the season with 84 tackles, four passes defensed and an interception.

At last week's NFL Scouting Combine, head coach Mike McCoy spoke glowingly of Butler and the importance of the Chargers keeping their young player.

"He was the one who was calling the defense over there," McCoy told U-T San Diego. "He was the voice of the defense on game day. He did a great job, finished strong. Unfortunately, he got the (groin) injury earlier in the season, but I think he did a great job with his leadership."

Butler is ranked No. 29 overall on Around The League's 101 free-agents list. His signing will leave a pool full of older inside linebackers on the open market.

Butler still has room to improve in coordinator John Pagano's defense. Locking him up gives the Chargers the chance to develop their former third-round pick.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" discusses the top 101 free agents and forecasts the offseasons of the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.

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