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GREEN BAY, Wis. – It was never a question of whether the Green Bay Packers would sign All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander for a contract extension. It was only a matter of when and for how much.
It happened on Monday and included a $ 30 million defensive back-record signing bonus as part of a four-year, $ 84 million contract, Alexander’s agent John Thornton told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Alexander’s new deal averages $ 21 million a year, also a new brand for defensive backs.
Alexander had previously only been tied to the Packers this season on the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. It would have paid him $ 13,294 million for 2022, and the entire total amount would have been included in this year’s salary cap. With the signature bonus proportional and a lower base salary of $ 1.076 million, the Packers will create significantly extra salary caps. Prior to this deal, they had about $ 11 million in ceiling. Exactly how much cap space was created is not known until the full details of the contract become available.
Packer general manager Brian Gutekunst had hinted that an extension for Alexander would not be far off. When Gutekunst was asked before the draft last month if they could make a long-term agreement with him, Gutekunst said: “I think we will [through] this weekend and we will go that route with some of these players. “
“He’s such a big part of what we do; he’s been such a good player for us since the day he arrived,” Gutekunst said of Alexander earlier in the season. “We would love [an extension] To happen. We have certainly been in communication with his representation, and we will continue to be so as we go through the year. “
The Packers’ first-round pick (No. 18) in 2018 quickly became a star. He was named the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team in 2018, was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019 and made his first Pro Bowl in 2020 – when he also achieved second team All-Pro honors.
Although he only played in four games last regular season due to a shoulder injury, he returned after a three-month absence to play in the NFC Divisional playoff game against the 49ers. He led the Packers in pass breaks in each of his first three seasons and had the fourth-most pass breaks in the NFL from 2018 to 2020 with 42 according to ESPN Stats & Information data. Only James Bradberry (with 45), Stephon Gilmore (43) and Janoris Jenkins (43) had more.
The Packers have made a significant commitment to the cornerback position over the past year. They signed Eric Stokes in the first round of the 2021 draft, and in March they re-signed Rasul Douglas to a $ 21 million three-year deal.