Andy Lee has been one of the best punters in the league since joining the 49ers in 2004 and the team has taken action to make sure he’ll be kicking for them a while longer.
The 49ers announced Wednesday that they have signed Lee to a six-year contract extension. Lee, a sixth-round pick in 2004, is now signed through the 2018 season. Financial terms of the deal haven’t been announced, but Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that the annual value of the deal will be around $4 million. Lee is set to make $1.1 million this season.
Shane Lechler of the Raiders is the only other punter in the league making that kind of money and he might be the only punter in the league better than Lee in recent years. In 2011, Lee set a single-season record with a 44-yard net punting average and he ranks second in the NFL in that metric since 2007. In addition, Lee holds franchise records in every major punting category.
“The 49ers are pleased to have reached a long term contract extension with Andy,” said General Manager Trent Baalke in a statement from the team. “Andy has established himself as one of the top players in the game at his position. He is a valued member of our organization and community. As we stated earlier this year, it is our objective to keep the core of this team together long term, and this is just another step in that direction.”
The 49ers hope to have a more efficient offensive team in 2012, but it’s nice to know they have Lee around to help them out if that doesn’t turn out to be the case.