Patrick Willis has developed into an All-Pro under Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, and the San Francisco 49ers' coach expects his top defender to become better than he ever was.
Willis is a big deal to the 49ers -- and he earned himself a big new deal Tuesday because of it.
The standout middle linebacker signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension that takes him through the 2016 season and includes $29 million in guaranteed money from the 49ers. He's set to make $10 million per season.
"Wow. It's been a long journey, but it's not over yet. I feel like it's just beginning," Willis said during a news conference at team headquarters. "It means a lot. It shows they really wanted me here -- and it shows what they want and what I want are the same things: to win."