Sep 10, 2015 3:45 PM by CBS Sports - Jared Dubin
According to a report from NFL Network's Rand Getlin, the Carolina Panthers have signed star linebacker Luke Kuechly to a five-year extension worth $62 million.
Kuechly has been one of the NFL's best linebackers since he stepped on the field back in 2012. In three NFL seasons, he has never finished with less than 153 tackles in a season and he leads the league in tackles over that time. As NFL.com's Matt Harmon noted, Kuechly's 9.9 tackles per game average is the highest of any active player.
A rangy, sideline-to-sideline linebacker than excels both in coverage and against the run, Kuechly suits up for every game and almost never takes a snap off. He's also finished his three seasons seventh, eighth and first in Pro Football Focus' inside linebacker grades.
Kuechly is fully deserving of the new contract, which makes him the NFL's highest-paid inside linebacker both in terms of total dollar value and on an average annual basis, per Spotrac. He's every bit as important to the Carolina defense as Cam Newton is to the offense, and the two of them are now assured of being in Carolina together for quite some time.