The Green Bay Packers have signed defensive lineman Mike Daniels to a four-year, $42 million extension that includes a $12 million signing bonus, multiple NFL sources confirmed Monday morning.
The extension, which was first reported by ESPN, will net Daniels $22 million in the first 15 months and make him the third-highest paid 3-4 defensive end in the league. The former fourth-round pick was scheduled to be the Packers' biggest unrestricted free agent this offseason.
General manager Ted Thompson frequently extended players in-season in the past, but more recently has waited until after the year to reach long-term agreements with his free agents. With Daniels, Thompson probably saw enough to warrant the long-term commitment. In each of his four NFL seasons, the 6-foot, 312-pound lineman has out-performed his previous campaign.
Daniels has been the team's top defensive lineman for three seasons now. After adding 10 pounds to his frame last offseason, he's responded with 41 tackles and four sacks in 13 starts this season. His 44 pressures (five sacks, six hits and 33 hurries) are the fifth-most among 3-4 defensive ends, according to Pro Football Focus.
The move keeps Daniels in Green Bay through the 2019 season and could allow him to land a third contract at 30 years old. It's the biggest and most recent deal the Packers have cut before a player has hit free agency since receiver Jordy Nelson's four-year, $39 million extension in July 2014.
After news of the deal broke, several of his teammates took to Twitter to congratulate Daniels.