I'll be curious to see the reaction to this news...
Source: the Chargers have exercised the fifth-year option for 2016 on OLB Melvin Ingram.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 7, 2015
The San Diego Chargers first round pick in 2012 NFL Draft (and A.J. Smith's last first-round pick as GM), Melvin Ingram has shown flashes of brilliance mixed with long periods of time missed due to injury.
Apparently, the team saw enough out of him that they don't want him playing into the final year of his contract this year. This makes a lot of sense in that the team is already losing two starting OLBs this offseason, and Jeremiah Attaochu hasn't shown that he yet has the body to handle the pounding of the NFL game. Tom Telesco needs at least one starting-caliber OLB on the roster for the next two seasons.
As part of the rookie wage scale, teams can decide to add a fifth-year to the contract of a former first-round pick. That means that Ingram will still make "rookie wages" next season before being able to test free agency. That's good news for a team that will need that cap space a year from now.
UPDATE: Maybe not so cheap!
Chargers exercised $7.751 million fifth-year option for Melvin Ingram on April 1, according to source— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) April 7, 2015