Chargers beat writer Kevin Acee expects the team to begin long-term contract talks with ILB Donald Butler this offseason.
After being a part-time player in 2011, his second season in the NFL, Butler has missed just two defensive snaps this year for the Chargers' No. 3 run defense. Pro Football Focus ranks Butler No. 9 out of 24 inside linebackers who have played 75 percent or more of the snaps for their respective team. Acee calls it a "virtual guarantee" that Butler won't escape the offseason without at least turning down a lucrative extension. He's currently in the third year of his four-year rookie deal.