San Francisco inks LB Patrick Willis to a five-year extension

The Niners inked what may feel is their best player today, as the team has announced that LB Patrick Willis has inked a five-year contract extension through the 2016 season. The 49ers originally selected Willis with the 11th overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.

“I am very proud of what Pat has been able to accomplish,” said head coach Mike 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.

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