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Chargers picking up Justin Herbert's fifth-year option on rookie deal, declining LB Kenneth Murray's option

After returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2018, the Chargers are making sure to prolong the rookie contract of their star quarterback.

Los Angeles is exercising Justin Herbert's fifth-year option, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.

However, general manager Tom Telesco told reporters following Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft that the club will be declining linebacker Kenneth Murray's option.

Herbert's fifth year will cost $29.5 million in 2024 due the QB having one Pro Bowl on his so-far sterling resume.

The No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has exceeded all expectations since joining the Chargers as long-time signal-caller Philip Rivers' replacement. In three seasons of play, Herbert has 14,089 passing yards, 94 touchdowns and 35 interceptions with a 66.9 completion percentage.

Although the option ensures Herbert will be under contract for another two seasons, the Chargers are sure to start working on an extension as time ticks on to prolong the partnership even further. In the meantime, they also made moves to help bolster the cast around the 25-year-old, drafting wide receiver Quentin Johnston with the No. 21 pick of the 2023 draft on Thursday night.

On the defensive side of the ball, Murray is now looking at a prove-it year with his rookie deal concluding after 2023. The off-ball linebacker has played in 44 games with 38 starts since joining the Chargers 23rd overall in 2020, logging 214 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and an interception.

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