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You have no idea how happy I am to hear this. Man, he must really want to stay a Charger then if he's foregoing that much money, because there is no way we paid him at least 7 million dollars a year. Props to Dean, AJ, and heck even LT for caring about his olineman so much that he gave them that free trip to anywhere in the word at the end of the year.
Now we won't have to worry about drafting a guard in the first round.
After months of silence followed by days of intense negotiation, the left guard who was voted the team's co-Offensive Lineman of the Year agreed Saturday to a six-year contract that will virtually guarantee him almost $17 million and put him around $40 million over the life of the deal.
Dielman was was en route from Seattle Saturday morning as his agent and the Chargers finalized the contract.
Calls to the Chargers and Mike McCartney, Dielman's agent, were not immediately returned.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith seemed resigned in recent weeks to the fact he would lose Dielman. Smith said repeatedly, You aren't going to hit on 100 percent. That was in reference to the fact the team has signed so many players to long-term contracts but might not be able to so with Dielman. Dielman is the 26th player under contract through at least 2009 and the 20th core player signed for that long. He is also the 17th core player that is 27 or younger signed through at least 2009.
While signs Dielman's displeasure over the Chargers not negotiating since November, the fact that other suitors seemed primed to pay him more pointed to Dielman leaving, Smith always held out hope.
In a Friday morning conversation with Dielman, he told him how much he thought of him and afterward said he was confident the team would get a chance to speak with him after he visited another team.
That team turned out to be the Seattle Seahawks, and Dielman spent Friday being wooed by them. Dielman left millions on the table.
Dielman is among Smith's favorite players, and the sincerity of his feelings for the player are evident every time he speaks of him including when he said he would be happy for Dielman if he signed a big contract elsewhere.
Immediately after taking over the starting job in the third game of 2005, Dielman was credited with infusing a nasty attitude into the offensive line. He is immensely strong and aggressive.
An undrafted free agent out of Indiana in 2003, he came to San Diego for a $7,500 signing bonus as a defensive lineman. He was cut after training camp but signed to the practice squad.
On his way to his first meeting with the defensive line, he was stopped by Marty Schottenheimer and sent to the offensive line meeting room. That is how he found out he was a guard.
He was moved to the active roster that October and spent the next two seasons learning the position, playing behind Toniu Fonoti. When Fonoti was injured against Denver in the second game of 2005, Dielman took over and has started 30 of the past 31 games.