The San Francisco 49ers have given linebacker Ahmad Brooks a six-year contract extension, reportedly worth $44.5 million with $17.5 million of that guaranteed. The deal keeps Brooks from becoming an unrestricted free agent and locks up one of the key players the 49ers were in danger of loosing this offseason.
Brooks had a career year in 2011 for the 49ers, who had one of the top defenses in the league. Brooks was one of the leaders of that defense, logging 7.0 sacks to finish third on the team in that category. He was primarily a pass-rush specialist but he did make 49 tackles, which was 18 more than he'd ever made in a season prior to 2011.
While Brooks competed with time with fellow linebackers Aldon Smith and Parys Haralson, this kind of contract suggests the 49ers expect Brooks to be a full-time starter. That would leave Smith and Haralson to be competing for the other outside spot.
For more on the Brooks' signing, be sure to check out 49ers blog Niners Nation.