49ers sign Andy Lee to six-year extension

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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.

32 responses to “49ers sign Andy Lee to six-year extension

  1. despite what many may think, a good punter is a huge asset to a successful football team. if you watch this guys punt, its incredible. good for him

  2. Lee’s a great great punter and i’d love to have him be a steeler…but $4 mil a yr good for a guy who plays 5 snaps a game? Im not sure about that…

  3. “Even if you are the best in the league punters should not be getting anywhere near 1 million per season…”

    Tell that to the 49ers’ defense who licked their chops all season while other teams started their offense inside the 15 yard line.

    Maybe, if Philadelphia paid the same kind of a attention to their special teams, their defense wouldn’t be so embarrassing.

  4. 4 million smackeroos a year? Wow. I like Andy Lee as a great punter, but 4 mil/year?
    Wow.

  5. To all the Osi Umenyiora bashers….a punter now makes more than him. Perhaps you can now give your tired “he’s greedy” posts a rest.

  6. I seem to remember the first time Lee came on the market as a Restricted Free Agent that the Steelers signed him to an offer sheet. Unfortunately, the 49ers soon matched the offer. Good move!

    This guy is a weapon!

    GO STEELERS!

  7. It’s funny that a lot of people see the value of a great punter returner but they don’t see the value in a great punter who pins teams inside their twenty and forces the great returners into fair catching the ball so they never even get the chance to make a big return.

  8. Lechler and Lee are great punters but it’s the guys like Brian Moorman that punt in terrible weather conditions that are really the best. The west-coast weather is very easy to punt in but make that football solid as a rock and winds whipping at 50mph and it is a lot more difficult to punt. Punt average yards is a phony stat.

  9. When the Niners were real bad in the mid-late 200’s and it was 3rd and long I always joked to just kneel it and let the best player on our team get his hands on the ball.

    Andy Lee is benefiting from the goofball Raiders and the inflated salary they gave to Lechler… but honestly, Lee is the best at his craft and should be paid accordingly.

    If next year is anything like 2011, we will definitely be playing the field position game frequently… besides Devin Hester this would be the first piece I would add to my ST.

  10. jarrod3184 says:
    May 23, 2012 3:30 PM
    Lechler and Lee are great punters but it’s the guys like Brian Moorman that punt in terrible weather conditions that are really the best. The west-coast weather is very easy to punt in but make that football solid as a rock and winds whipping at 50mph and it is a lot more difficult to punt. Punt average yards is a phony stat.

    • • • • • • • • • • • • •

    I have no idea if that’s true or not but how do the other west-coast punters do? I couldn’t tell you who those punters are but there no where as good as Andy Lee (or Lechler)….and I don’t recall past Niner or Raider punters doing what these guys are doing either.

  11. Stiller43 says:
    May 23, 2012 2:36 PM
    Lee’s a great great punter and i’d love to have him be a steeler…but $4 mil a yr good for a guy who plays 5 snaps a game? Im not sure about that…
    ———————————————–
    You make it sounds like these 5 snaps are the same 5 snaps as a RB, WR etc.

    These 5 snaps are 5 impact plays. For $4 mil a year would you take a RB or WR who resulted in a 44 yard play for those 5 snaps?

    I realize this is not realistic but just to put it into perspective for someone who doesn’t understand the value of a great punter. I honestly believe the Niners go no better than 11-5 last year without Lee. $4 mil/year well spent!

  12. Too much money you say, why don’t you wait until a contract deep dive is done before commenting? The reported values right after these signings are done by the agent. The actual values are always lower. The 9ers don’t hand out too many large contracts, but even at this value the field position battle is key for the 9ers and worth every penny!

  13. @jakek2….people don’t think Osi is greedy because he wants more money. They think he is greedy because he whines about what he makes before the ink dries on the contract he just signed! Please go be ignorant somewhere else. I like his talent just fine, but he is a whiner.

  14. there has got to be more details on this contract.. 4 mil a year for a punter is just too much.. im sure this is all max out at 4mil / year.. perhaps half of it on unreachable incentives like aveg 50 net yards per punt and such.. i dont see trent balkee giving away that much $ to a punter.. if he is reluctant to pay that much to a guard that plays 40+ snaps / game.

  15. For everyone thinking a punter shouldn’t be paid anywhere near this, football is a game of field position, as much (or more than) as it is timing and precision.

    Teams tend to be very conservative with their offense inside their own 15 and 10 yard lines. A great punter than can routinely put the opposing team in that area just makes your defense so much better.

  16. Lechler and Lee are great punters but it’s the guys like Brian Moorman that punt in terrible weather conditions that are really the best. The west-coast weather is very easy to punt in but make that football solid as a rock and winds whipping at 50mph and it is a lot more difficult to punt. Punt average yards is a phony stat.

    @Jarred

    Man, it is obvious you have never been to SF in the summer. 5-10miles outside of the city is beautiful summer weather. In SF…cold and windy…

    Watch old SF Giants games at Candlestick…the fans look like they are in Green Bay in the winter minus snow…the thickest winter jackets and covered in blankets…and that is summer baseball.

    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
    -mark twain.

  17. “Lechler and Lee are great punters but it’s the guys like Brian Moorman that punt in terrible weather conditions that are really the best. The west-coast weather is very easy to punt in but make that football solid as a rock and winds whipping at 50mph and it is a lot more difficult to punt. Punt average yards is a phony stat.”

    Yeah because it’s never windy at candlestick….

  18. I’m glad Lee has been locked up for the next several years. He might not have the most glamorous job, but he makes life a lot easier for the rest of the team.

    His accomplishments so far are only made more impressive considering he has played most of his games at a low altitude (high altitude makes it easier to kick high and far) and in an open stadium near the ocean with a lot of wind rather then a dome.

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