Earning His Raise: 49ers Give Patrick Willis the Extension He Deserves

Old AccountSenior Writer IMay 4, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 29: Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers is introduced against the Jacksonville Jaguars during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on November 29, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

As the NFL offseason hits its dead period, free agency begins to wrap up and minicamps approach.

In the midst of this, the San Francisco 49ers announced that they were giving their biggest star the extension he deserves.

Linebacker Patrick Willis received a five-year, $50 million contract, with $29 million in guarantees.

From an average football fan's standpoint, you may not recognize the name. But in 2010, you will surely know he is one of the best in the game.

The 49ers are not known for making headlines during the offseason. However, there was no choice not to give Willis a new contract.

Willis has been in the league for three years, and has led all three in tackles.

He is the franchise player to the 49ers, as Ray Lewis has been for the Baltimore Ravens.

Mike Singletary, an NFL great as a player, taught Willis well. A young, talented defense is being formed in San Francisco, and Patrick Willis is the biggest contributor in that aspect.

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49ers fans didn't have to worry about Willis leaving for a few more years, but now they know Willis wants to be in San Francisco, and is ready to be a part of a team that is ready to win now in the NFC West.

Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/MattMiselis