|Lee was rewarded for his beasty punting with a six-year deal. (Getty Images)|
It's not often that fans can get pumped up about a team announcing a new contract for a kicker or a punter, but if you're a 49ers fan, you should be stoked (the kids say that in Cali, right?) about the new six-year deal the team announced for punter Andy Lee on Wednesday.
It's believed the deal is in the range of $4 million per year, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. That's a chunk of change for a punter, but if Lee produces at a rate near what he did in 2011, the field position he'll give San Francisco will be well worth the money.
"The 49ers are pleased to have reached a long-term contract extension with Andy," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team. "Andy has established himself as one of the top players in the game at his position. He is a valued member of our organization and community. As we stated earlier this year, it is our objective to keep the core of this team together long term, and this is just another step in that direction."
Lee, a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, had a monster year in 2011, averaging 50.9 yards per punt (with a long of 68) and only having one punt blocked the entire year. That gross average was good for third in NFL history, and his 44 yards-per-punt net set an NFL record.
As our 49ers Rapid Reporter Kyle Bonagura noted Wednesday, Lee holds every major punting record in team history: punts (723), yards (33,069), gross average (45.7), net average (38.9) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (209).
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