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Green Bay Packers sign Jaire Alexander to historic $84 million contract extension

Matt Johnson

The Green Bay Packers are finalizing a Jaire Alexander contract extension, making the Pro Bowl cornerback one of the highest paid NFL players at his position.

Alexander, the 18th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, missed a majority of the 2021 season with a shoulder injury. While he avoided season-ending surgery, the Pro Bowl defensive back didn’t return until the Divisional Round after first suffering the injury in Week 4.

  • Jaire Alexander career stats: 44 pass deflections, five interceptions in 48 games

Before landing on IR, Alexander was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and an emerging star for a resurgent Packers’ defense. The 25-year-old is now being rewarded with a lucrative contact extension.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the terms of the new contract. Alexander’s deal averages $21 million per season, an NFL record, and comes with the largest signing bonus ever for a defensive back.

Following the re-signing of Rasul Douglas, Green Bay is expected to utilize Alexander heavily in the slot this upcoming season when deploying the nickel or dime packages. In base formations, Alexander will line up on the outside and be assigned coverage against the top receivers in the NFL.

Once the deal is finalized, it will create additional cap space for the Packers. Given their reported interest in some of the free-agent receivers, it’s possible a signing happens before training camp.

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Jaire Alexander contract details and 2022 impact

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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Scheduled to play under his fully guaranteed $13.294 million salary in 2022, the contract extension offers immediate short-term benefits for Green Bay. As Schefter notes, the extension lowers Alexander’s base salary dramatically with his signing bonus spread out across four years.

  • Jaire Alexander salary (2022): $1.086 million

Green Bay had approximately $10.8 million in cap space before the deal. Once the NFL approves it, the added wiggle room could generate enough flexibility to sign a Julio Jones or Odell Beckham Jr.

On the surface, Alexander’s stats and his absence in 2021 might suggest the Packers are overpaying. However, he proved when healthy that he is one of the true shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL.

Among cornerbacks who played 500-plus snaps in 2020, Alexander surrendered the third-lowest reception rate (50.7), the second-lowest yards per reception (9.6) and the second-lowest passer rating allowed (68.3), per Pro Football Focus. 

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The Packers will have one of the best secondaries in football next season and they already made a significant investment in the front seven. While there are still questions about the offense following the Davante Adams trade, this will still be one of the best NFL teams in 2022.