The only offensive lineman to start all 16 games in 2015, Joe Barksdale was named the team’s Lineman of the Year in his first season in San Diego.
The Chargers weren’t about to let him get away.
Barksdale and the Bolts agreed to a four-year contract on Monday, keeping the veteran stalwart in America’s Finest City. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
“When you get an opportunity to be with a team that has pieces in place to win, you want to stick with it and help the team out," he said. "With the quarterback we have in Philip Rivers, the running backs and all the guys in general, you want to be a part of it. San Diego is one of the greatest cities in the world, and a great place to live. I love it.”
A five-year veteran, the 6-5, 326-pound right tackle provided stability during a season in which the team was decimated up front. In fact, he has appeared in every game with 45 starts dating back to 2013, including the last 32 at right tackle. Barksdale was not called for a single holding penalty last season, and had the second most offensive snaps on the team after Philip Rivers. As a result, his teammates voted him the Chargers Lineman of the Year.
"That was humbling," he said. "I honestly didn’t know about it until we voted for it. I was just trying to do my best every week, and it was a great honor."
Originally a third round pick (92nd overall) of the Oakland Raiders in 2011 out of LSU, Barksdale spent the previously three seasons with the Rams before joining the Chargers.