Peterson's agent, Kevin Poston, said Tuesday evening the contract is for $54 million over seven years and includes $18.5 million guaranteed. The deal is worth $10 million in the first year, $18.4 million in the second and $23.5 million in the third.
The Seahawks had no comment. A spokesman with the 49ers, who had been hoping to keep Peterson, said the team has been informed a framework for a contract with Seattle is in place.
Delores Peterson, Julian's mother, confirmed from the family's Maryland home Tuesday evening that her son was coming to Seattle. She said Julian could not come to the phone because he was "swamped entertaining" dozens of friends who had piled into the house to celebrate his move from a last-place team that has gone 6-26 the last two seasons to the NFC champions.
Mom felt like celebrating, too.
"I'm the reason he's on this earth -- and no one is giving me love," she joked.
Peterson was partying over getting the contract he has been seeking for three years, since he became an All Pro and two-time Pro Bowler with a career-high seven sacks, 95 tackles and two interceptions in 2003. The 49ers kept him from free agency by using their franchise-player designation on him in both 2004 -- when he was seeking at least $20 million guaranteed -- and in 2005.
In 2004, he tore his left Achilles' tendon and missed the final 11 games. He returned last season and was less productive.
Peterson said part of the reason was lingering discomfort from the Achilles' tear. He also didn't fit well into new coach Mike Nolan's 3-4 defense, in which the former Baltimore defensive coordinator demands his defenders remain in assigned places on the field. What Peterson had been excelling at -- freelancing into plays from anywhere -- became a problem of constantly being out of position in Nolan's system.
He finished the season with 83 tackles and three sacks in 15 games.
Peterson's agreement comes one day after the Seahawks lost an arbitration hearing over retaining Steve Hutchinson. They then opted to let him sign a $49 million, seven-year contract with Minnesota rather than being forced to guarantee the All-Pro guard all $49 million.
The Seahawks, who saved $6.39 million in salary-cap space by letting Hutchinson leave, intend to continue upgrading its defense. They remain in competition with Atlanta for disgruntled New York Jets defensive end John Abraham.
The Seahawks have reportedly presented the better trade package for Abraham: a first-round pick. Atlanta has only been willing to give up a second-rounder. However, Abraham, the Jets franchise player, must reach an agreement with the Seahawks before a trade can occur.