Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks set a record as the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history earlier this offseason. But even Wagner had to know that once Luke Kuechly's new deal with the Carolina Panthers got done, his record was going to be broken.
The Panthers reportedly were ready to take care of Kuechly, the cornerstone of their defense, by giving him a huge five-year extension. He'll make $62 million over that extension, according to NFL Network. The NFL Network report said the two sides agreed to the deal. The $12.4 million annual average blows away Wagner's mark of $10.75 million per year.
Steve Reed of the AP reported that the deal was not done yet, but that didn't mean the two sides wouldn't sign a contract soon. Kuechly would not discuss his contract situation at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Kuechly is worth the money, assuming he does sign. He has been a star since the moment the Panthers took him with the ninth pick of the 2012 draft out of Boston College. He won the NFL's defensive player of the year award in 2013. His sideline-to-sideline speed sets him apart at the position.
And now, Kuechly's reported contract will really set him apart among NFL inside linebackers.
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