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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The New Orleans Saints make Marshon Lattimore one of the richest cornerbacks in NFL history. And they got their money’s worth on Sunday with a dominant performance by Lattimore and the rest of the Saints’ defense in the 38-3 route in the Green Bay Packers.
Lattimore agreed to a five-year, $ 97.6 million contract extension that could be worth up to $ 100 million, with $ 68.3 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter after the match. That’s the biggest full guarantee when signing for a cornerback in NFL history.
Lattimore responded to news of the extension by tweeting a money bag emoji.
However, not all news was good for Lattimore on Sunday. He sustained a thumb injury during the match, as first reported by Pro Football Talk, and needs to be further evaluated, a source said. Lattimore missed the start of the third quarter and appeared to have an area of his hand taped or braced when he returned.
Lattimore, 25, is in the final year of his rookie contract and would have become a free agent by 2022.
Although the Saints have faced severe pay cuts this year, forcing them to remove significant depth from their list, they have continued to reinvest in many core players. Lattimore joins running back Alvin Kamara and rightly tackles Ryan Ramczyk as members of the Saints’ star-studded draft class of 2017, who have signed lucrative long-term extensions with the team. The Saints also placed the franchise mark on security Marcus Williams from the same class this year, while colleagues in the 2017 draft of Trey Hendrickson signed a monster-free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lattimore (6 feet, 192 pounds) has shown one of the league’s best combinations of size and speed since being drafted with the 11th overall pick from Ohio State in 2017. He won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2017. and has been named to three Pro Bowls in four seasons.
Lattimore entered the season with 10 career breaks and 55 passes defended, adding a pass defense and three tackles in Sunday’s win. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed just 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions and zero touchdowns in the game. Packers receiver Davante Adams was held to five catches in 56 yards, while he was often covered by Lattimore.
Lattimore had been a decision in playing time due to a knee injury that crept up during the week. But he was activated after coaches and athletic coaches liked what they saw in warm-ups before the game.
“Our defense when you hold Aaron Rodgers 1-of-10 in third place is just incredible,” Saints quarterback Jameis Winston said after throwing five touchdown passes in the win. “When we’re able to hold one of the last offenses last year to three possessions in half, that’s the kind of thing we preach about.”
Lattimore has been particularly good when matched with top receivers over the years – especially Tampa Bay Buccaneers rival Mike Evans. The biggest blow to Lattimore has been a perceived lack of consistency, with Lattimore himself previously admitting that he needed to improve his intensity and focus on less alert recipients. But players and coaches have noticed how stuck he has been this summer.
“I feel like I’m the best in the league,” Lattimore said in June. “It’s just me who’s confident in myself, knows what I can do and what I’ve done out there. I feel like I’m the best.”
Lattimore was arrested on a stolen firearm in his hometown of Cleveland earlier this season. The case is not resolved and it is unclear whether he will be subject to significant punishment or discipline from the NFL.