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SAN FRANCISCO NINERS EXTEND ANDY LEE’S CONTRACT
Wed, 30 May 2012 03:52 AM EDT

Andy Lee has made every punt and held each field goal and extra-point attempt minus one or two in the preseason for the S.F 49ers since 2004. NFL spreads

Now Lee and his booming leg will be part of the San Francisco 49ers even longer.

“The 49ers are happy to have reached a long-term deal extension with Andy,” director Trent Baalke announced in a statement. “Andy has established himself as one of the quality players in the game at his position. He’s a valued member of our franchise and community. As we stated early on in the year, it is our objective to keep the center of this team together long-term, and this is just another step in that direction.”

The 49ers signed the 3-time All-Pro punter to a 6-year deal extension that will keep him with the franchise through the 2018 season.

“At times it’s underestimated possibly,” SF 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh announced of his punter. “Andy is one of those players that win games for our football team. And it’s wonderful to see guys that play all of the games, play all 16, 17, 18 games and help our football team win games, get a reward with a new contract, so all of us are actually excited and happy for Andy about that.”

The 29-year-old has played in 128 games for the SF 49ers and holds team records in punts (723), yards (33,069), gross average (45.7, net average (38.9) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (209). Since 2007, Lee’s gross punting average (47.9) and net average (40.7) rank 2nd in the NFL.

He set NFL single-season records since at least 1976 for gross (50.9 yards) and net (44.0) punting averages last season. His 59.6-yard gross average at home against Seattle last season was the third-highest for a game since at least 1976, the 1st year such statistics were tracked officially (minimum four punts). He had a 54.2-yard net average in the game, which is the second-highest in the NFL since at least 1976.

“They did a great job signing other men to just keep this team intact so we will be able to make a run at the Super Bowl,” Lee said. “It makes me feel really good and makes me feel respected by this team and organization.”

Lee usually expresses appreciation of long snapper Brian Jennings and his fellow special-teamers for the victory.

David Akers who set a single-season NFL record with 44 field goals last year made the All-Pro team. And special teams coach Brad Seely has been an important part of the unit’s achievement, too.

Lee, who was set to become a free agent after this season, was excited he’ll stay a part of the close-knit group past this year.

“I believe it’s a good thing to know where I am going to be and be able to plan our future and know my family is going to be financially protected with certain things,” he revealed. “It was a great thing to get worked out. I gave a small on my part; I suspect they gave a bit on their side. It is a great feeling for both parts.”


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