49ers Sign LB Patrick Willis to 5-Year Extension

The San Francisco 49ers announced that they have signed three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis to a five-year contract extension.

Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports the extension is worth $50 million dollars.

"I am very proud of what Pat has been able to accomplish," 49ers head coach Mike Singletary said in a statement released by the team. "He is the epitome of what a 49er is all about. Pat has had to overcome a lot in his life and has maintained the ability to stay focused on his goals. Before it is all said and done, he may go down as one of the best to play the position. I am thankful that our organization has realized Pat is one of the core pieces to this puzzle, and I am excited for our community, fans, coaches and players, that we will have Pat here for a very long time."

Willis was to earn $760,000 in 2010, the fourth year of his rookie contract, and was scheduled to earn $2.75 million dollars in 2011, the final year of his contract. This extension will keep him under contract with the 49ers through the 2016 season, and it remains to be seen if the $50 million dollar figure that Glazer reports represents new money.

Willis is one of several NFL players participating in MMA workouts with Glazer this off-season.

A first-round pick (11th overall) out of Mississippi by the 49ers in 2007, Willis is a three-time Pro Bowler who has started all 48 games of his career, registering 467 tackles, 9 quarterback sacks, and two interceptions, both of which he's returned for touchdowns.

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