Chargers sign Phillips to six-year deal

The San Diego Chargers and linebacker Shaun Phillips agreed to terms on a six-year deal that will keep Phillips in San Diego through 2012 and elimintates his opportunity of becoming a restricted free agent on March 2.

"Shaun is an integral part of our defense," said General Manager A.J. Smith. "He is a great pass rusher and last year he solidified his talents as an outstanding player against both the run and the pass. His play and his production speak for themselves. He made a lot of big plays for us last year that helped us win football games, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to watch him continue to do that over the years to come."

"The key in this league is keeping your best players, and Shaun is another example of how this organization is committed to doing that," said Head Coach Norv Turner. "I've had to coach against Shaun the last few years and he's become an outstanding complete player. He's one of many guys that I'm really looking forward to working with."

Shaun Phillips became a full-time starter in 2006 and delivered a breakout season. He racked up a career-high 11.5 sacks to rank ninth in the league overall and second among NFL linebackers, behind only teammate Shawne Merriman (17). The Chargers became one of only two NFL teams this season to feature two players with at least 11 sacks and it was the first time since 1994 that two Lightning Bolts had at least 11 sacks in the same season. Phillips led the team with six tackles for loss, while he and Merriman tied for the team lead with four forced fumbles. He finished the season with 63 tackles.

A total of 24 players are under contract with the Bolts through at least the 2009 season, eight of whom are signed through at least 2011.

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