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NFL - US Sports: Packers pay star cornerback in back-loaded deal

The Green Bay Packers have agreed to a four-year, $84 million extension with Jaire Alexander that will make him the top-earning cornerback in the NFL for 2022.

(This article was originally published on 17.05.2022) 

Back from injury

Alexander had injury-hit season last year but battled hard to make it back in time to play for the Packers, 5/1 to win the NFC Championship, in their Divisional Round matchup with the San Francisco 49ers last January.

The 2020 All-Pro had an interception in Green Bay's Week 3 victory at San Francisco, but sustained a shoulder injury that kept him out of the rest of the regular season a week later.

The 25-year-old posted the best defensive grade and the best coverage grade among every player at his position, per Pro Football Focus, in 2020.

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Talks completed

Although ESPN had reported talks were ongoing a few days ago, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport announced the breakthrough on Monday.

Alexander will earn $31 million in the first year of the extension, per Rapoport, and the size of the new deal surpasses the $21 million annual commitment the Cleveland Browns made to Denzel Ward late last month.

The Packers structured the deal with a big signing bonus and low base salary in year one to reduce Alexander's cap charge in 2022 and push out payments into the future - just like they did with Aaron Rodgers' new three-year contract extension earlier this spring.

Green Bay will worry about the bill coming their way down the road - when the NFL salary cap is expected to increase significantly.

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