49ers sign LB Patrick Willis to a 5-year contract extension through 2016

Woo Hoo! I'll have much more on this, but the 49ers just announced that Patrick Willis has agreed to terms on a 5 year extension through 2016. I'm heading out the door, so for now, I've posted the press release after the jump. There will also be a press conference at 1pm pacific.

Needless to say, this is a big deal to check off the to-do list. Of course, if you're Vernon Davis, you're figuring you're next on deck for a deal, particularly since Davis is a free agent after 2010, while Bamm Bamm had another year on his rookie deal.

Thanks to Deelron for posting a FanShot regarding Glazer's comments. Glazer is reporting it's 5 years, $50 million. As Deelron mention, we're all curious to see how they handled the 30% issue.

"I am very proud of what Pat has been able to accomplish," said Singletary. "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."

The heart and soul of the 49ers defense, Willis (6-1, 240) is a two-time first-team All-Pro and has been one of the league's most dominant linebackers since he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, in 2007. Since that time, he has become one of the surest tacklers in the NFL, leading all players with 467 tackles (9.7 per game), according to league rankings.

Willis has not missed a game during his professional career, starting 48 consecutive contests and leading the 49ers in tackles in each of his three NFL seasons. He has registered nine sacks, four interceptions, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 29 passes defensed and 584 tackles, according to 49ers coaching records. A demon in pass coverage, Willis leads all NFL linebackers with 18 passes defensed, since 2008.

By earning the starting nod on the 2010 NFC Pro Bowl squad, Willis became the first 49er since safety Ronnie Lott to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of the first three years of his career. After setting career marks with three interceptions, three forced fumbles and four sacks, last season, Willis was named the 2009 Butkus Award recipient, as professional football's top linebacker. He was also selected the NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year for the second time in his career.

The 25-year-old native of Bruceton, TN, starred collegiately at Mississippi where he won the 2006 Butkus and Jack Lambert Awards as the nation's top linebacker. A two-time All-America selection (2005-2006), Willis was also named the 2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

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