King Dunlap's rise from late-round selection to consistently effective offensive tackle has taken the better part of a decade.
Now he's getting paid like one.
The San Diego Chargers locked up their left tackle, agreeing on a four-year contract, the team announced Friday. The contract is worth $28 million, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source who has seen the deal.
"I am glad to be back with the Chargers organization," Dunlap said, via the team's press release. "I can't say thank you enough to (team president) Dean Spanos, as well as (general manager) Tom Telesco, coach (Mike) McCoy and coach Joe D (D'Alessandris) for helping this day to arrive. It's an honor and a blessing and I'm ready to get back to work."
The seven-year veteran finished his first complete season of his career in 2014, starting all 16 games for a Chargers team that finished 9-7. Dunlap's teammates voted him their 2014 Lineman of the Year in his second season in San Diego, as he allowed just three sacks on 625 pass drops, per Pro Football Focus.
"King has been top notch the last few years for us at left tackle," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "It's very well-deserved for him personally and a huge signing for our team."
Dunlap was set to hit free agency on March 10, but with the new deal, the 29-year-old will be entrenched at the ever-important position of left tackle for the foreseeable future, given that he continues to play at the same level.