JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The New Orleans Saints are making Marshon Lattimore one of the richest cornerbacks in NFL history. And they got their money’s worth Sunday with a dominant performance by Lattimore and the rest of the Saints’ defense in the 38-3 rout of the Green Bay Packers.
Lattimore agreed to a five-year, $97.6 million contract extension that could be worth up to $100 million, with $68.3 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter following the game. It is the largest full guarantee at signing for any cornerback in NFL history.
Lattimore responded to news of the extension by tweeting a money-bag emoji.
However, not all news was good for Lattimore on Sunday. He suffered a thumb injury during the game, as first reported by Pro Football Talk, and will need to be evaluated further, a source said. Lattimore missed the beginning of the third quarter and appeared to have an area of his hand taped or braced when he returned.
Lattimore, 25, is in the final year of his rookie contract and would have become a free agent in 2022.
Although the Saints have faced severe salary-cap limitations this year, forcing them to remove a significant amount of depth from their roster, they have continued to reinvest in many core players. Lattimore joins running back Alvin Kamara and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk as members of the Saints’ stellar 2017 draft class who have signed lucrative long-term extensions with the team. The Saints also placed the franchise tag on safety Marcus Williams from that same class this year, while fellow 2017 draft pick Trey Hendrickson signed a monster free-agent deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lattimore (6-foot, 192 pounds) has displayed one of the league’s best combinations of size and speed since he was drafted with the 11th overall pick out of Ohio State in 2017. He won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2017 and has been named to three Pro Bowls in four seasons.
Lattimore entered the season with 10 career interceptions and 55 passes defensed, adding one pass defense and three tackles in Sunday’s win. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed just 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions and zero touchdowns in the game. Packers receiver Davante Adams was held to five catches for 56 yards while being frequently covered by Lattimore.
Lattimore had been a game-time decision because of a knee injury that crept up during the week. But he was activated after coaches and athletic trainers liked what they saw in pregame warm-ups.
“Our defense, when you hold Aaron Rodgers 1-of-10 on third down, that’s just incredible,” Saints quarterback Jameis Winston said after throwing five touchdown passes in the victory. “When we are able to hold one of the top offenses of last year to three possessions in a half, that’s the type of stuff that we preach about.”
Lattimore has been especially good when matched up against top receivers over the years — especially Tampa Bay Buccaneers rival Mike Evans. The biggest knock against Lattimore has been a perceived lack of consistency, with Lattimore himself admitting in the past that he needed to improve his intensity and focus against less-heralded receivers. But players and coaches have noted how locked-in he has been this summer.
“I feel like I’m the best in the league,” Lattimore said in June. “That’s just me being confident in myself, knowing what I can do and what I’ve done out there. I feel like I’m the best.”
Lattimore was arrested on a stolen gun charge in his hometown of Cleveland earlier this offseason. The case has not been resolved, and it is unclear whether he will face significant punishment or any discipline from the NFL.