The Packers had a stellar pass defense last season that allowed only 219 yards per game and 18 interceptions, despite the fact that All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander missed 12 regular season games due to injury. There was little doubt that the Packers were going to sign Alexander to a contract extension, the only question was for how much and when.
The signing happened on Monday which included a $30 million bonus as part of a lucrative $84 million over the next four seasons. Alexander’s $21 million per season average is a record for defensive backs, which is $700,000 more per season than Denzel Ward and $1 million more than Jalen Ramsey.
Prior to the extension, Alexander was only under contract through this season, which would pay him a shade under $13.3 million. With the huge signing bonus prorated over the duration of the contract and a base salary of just under $1.1 million, the Packers made a wise economic move. This adds to their salary cap space, which had been about $11 million.
Alexander was the Packers first-round selection in 2018 and 18th overall. He had 66 tackles and an interception as a rookie, and was named to the PFWA’s All-Rookie Team. Alexander started all 16 games in his second season, recording 58 tackles and two interceptions, good enough to be named an alternate for the Pro Bowl. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and earned second-team All Pro honors.
Although he missed most of last season, Alexander returned to play in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs against the 49ers. Despite having only five interceptions over four seasons, Alexander is a dominant cornerback, recording the fourth most pass breakups from 2018 through 2020.
The Packers have been conscious to upgrade the cornerback position over the past year and it has paid dividends. Eric Stokes was selected in the first round of the 2021 draft and they kept Rasul Douglas in the mix after inking him to a three-year deal worth an average of $7 million per season.