Chargers tender three restricted free agents

The San Diego Chargers have tendered contract offers to restricted free agents Stephen Cooper, Kris Dielman and Matt Wilhelm.

As restricted free agents, the players are free to negotiate with other teams before signing a contract with the Chargers. If a player receives an offer from another team, the Chargers have the right to match that offer. If the player signs with another team, the Bolts will receive a draft pick from that team as compensation. In Cooper and Dielman's case, the Bolts would receive a first-round pick and in Wilhelm's case, they would receive a fourth-round pick.

The 6-1, 235-pound Cooper saw action in all 16 games as a reserve linebacker and special teams performer. He started two games at inside linebacker in the middle of the season for Randall Godfrey. Cooper finished the season with 30 tackles and 1.5 sacks on defense and nine stops on special teams.

The 6-4, 310-pound Dielman played in all 16 games and started the last 14 at left guard. Dielman's consistent play on the line helped the Chargers rush for 2,072 yards as a team last season.

Wilhelm, a 6-4, 245-pound linebacker, also played in all 16 games, splitting time as a reserve 'backer while contributing on special teams. He had 16 tackles, one sack and an interception on defense while logging 15 tackles and a forced fumble on special teams. He tied as the team's third-leading tackler on the specialty units.


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