CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -The Carolina Panthers signed Jason Baker to a five-year, $8.5 million extension Monday that makes him one of the NFL's highest-paid punters.
Baker, who would have become an unrestricted free agent after next season, received a $2.2 million signing bonus in the deal that will keep him with the team through the 2012 season.
The 29-year-old Baker, who was waived six times by four teams early in his career, set team records for net average the past two seasons, 38.9 yards in 2005 and 39 last season. Baker had a 45.7-yard gross average last season in 98 punts, the second most in team history.
``He's a very steady player and he's our kind of person,'' general manager Marty Hurney said.
Baker, who also holds for kicker John Kasay and shares kickoff duties, has provided the Panthers stability at the position following Todd Sauerbrun, who had off-the-field problems and clashed with management over his weight and his contract.
Baker was acquired from Denver in 2005 in exchange for Sauerbrun and a seventh-round draft choice. Sauerbrun was later suspended four games for using the banned substance ephedra.
Advertisement

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.
Thumbnail Packers vs. Falcons Prediction Will the Packers pull off the upset in Atlanta today at 3:05PM ET when they visit the Falcons for the 2017 NFC Championship Game?
Thumbnail AFC Championship Odds The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers look to make another trip to the Super Bowl when the two collide in the AFC Championship...
Thumbnail NFC Championship Prop Picks Will the Packers and Falcons both go over their individual team totals in today's 3:05PM ET NFC Championship Game?

NFL Team Pages