The Packers have signed Morgan Burnett to an extension (USA Today Sports Images)
Burnett, a third-round pick (No. 71 overall) out of Georgia Tech in 2010, was scheduled to earn $1.323 million in base salary in 2013, the final season of a four-year, $3.51 million rookie contract that included $875,100 in guaranteed money.
According to Rapoport, the extension is worth $24.75 million and includes $8.25 million in guaranteed money. In terms of "new" money, the $6.1875 million per year average ($24.75 million over four seasons) is ahead of the $6 million per year average in recent safety contracts signed by William Moore of the Atlanta Falcons and LaRon Landy of the Indianapolis Colts.
Even after signing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews to long-term extensions earlier this offseason, the Packers have plenty of cap space ($16.327 million, as of July 15) to start signing key players to extensions. In addition to Burnett, cornerback Sam Shields, wide receiver James Jones, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and right tackle Marshall Newhouse are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in 2014.
Burnett was an instant starter in the Packers' defensive backfield, but his rookie season was derailed by a torn ACL. Burnett has bounced back from that injury to start all 32 regular season games over the last two seasons, totaling 230 tackles, three sacks and five interceptions with four forced fumbles and 16 passes defensed. According to official NFL playing-time documents, Burnett missed 16 snaps in 2011, but was on the field for all 1,088 of the Packers' defensive snaps in 2012.
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