Chargers sign Matt Wilhelm through 2011

The San Diego Chargers signed linebacker Matt Wilhelm to a five-year contract extension that runs through the 2011 season.

"Matt is one of this team's rising young defensive players," said General Manager A.J. Smith. "He has played solid football when called upon at the inside ‘backer position and has been very productive as a special teams player. We are pleased that we will have Matt with us for years to come."

Wilhelm, 6-4, 245, is in his fourth season with the Chargers after being drafted in the fourth round in 2003 out of Ohio State. He has played 39 NFL games, including all 30 games in 2005-06. Wilhelm has made key contributions on both defense and special teams. This season he ranks among the team leaders with 13 special teams tackles and also has 14 tackles on defense.

"I'm just glad we were able to get this done now," Wilhelm said. "I wanted to be here and the organization wanted me to be here. I know the defense and now that I've been in Wade Phillips' system for three years, I can go out there and do my job to the best of my ability. I'm still just 25 years old and would love to play my entire career in San Diego. I love being a part of this team. I didn't want to go anywhere else because I love playing with the group of guys we have here."

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