Chargers extend Steve Foley through 2009

The San Diego Chargers have extended the contract of outside linebacker Steve Foley through the 2009 season.

Steve Foley, originally signed to a three year deal in March of 2004, has had his contract extended by three years, through the 2009 season.

Foley led the team in sacks in 2004 with ten, a career-high for the linebacker. His ten sacks were the second-most in the league among linebackers and they were the most sacks in a season by a Chargers' linebacker since Billy Ray Smith had 11 in 1986.

Besides being a terror in the backfield, he contributed five forced fumbles and 12 passes defensed to go with 65 tackles.

Foley quickly became the inspirational leader of the defense with his energy and play.

"Steve made a powerful impact in his first year on our football team," said General Manager A.J. Smith. "He personified much of what we look for in our players. First and foremost, he loves to play the game. And he's an outstanding team player and leader. We want football players like Steve Foley on our team."

Foley, entering his eighth season in the league, came to the Chargers having never started through a full season. When he was originally signed, head coach Marty Schottenheimer said he was the "prototypical linebacker for the 3-4." It turns out he was prophetic as Foley delivered a season that rivals some of the best in Chargers' history.

"I'm thrilled," Foley said. "I love it in San Diego. The organization is first class and we have a chance to win a championship here. As a player, what more can you ask for? We're still adding pieces and it's quite obvious with the pick-up last year of Keenan McCardell that the organization is going in the right direction and it's all about winning."

Foley was originally selected in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. As a senior in 1997, Foley led the nation with 18.5 sacks, including a school-record 5.5 in a game against Central Florida.

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