The New England Patriots and starting right defensive end Rob Ninkovich on Sunday agreed to a three-year contract extension through the 2016 season, a source told ESPN.com.
“I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to stick around,” Ninkovich said Monday in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “The Kraft family and my family worked it out to where it works well for both sides and I’m happy to be here for the next three, four years now.”
Ninkovich’s agent, Craig Domann, tweeted that the deal includes $8.5 million guaranteed and total of more than $15 million.
29-year-old Ninkovich has 14.5 sacks over the past two seasons, starting every game over that span.
Ninkovich entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft choice of the Saints in 2006 and joined the Patriots at the start of training camp in 2009 and was considered a longshot to earn a roster spot at the time.
The Patriots and Ninkovich was talking contract extension during the training camp days.
“In training camp I, obviously we were talking, I knew that I wanted to be here, this is the place I was given an opportunity and I really respected that because if it wasn’t for the opportunity that was given here, I don’t know where I would be right now,” he said.
Ninkovich really wanted to stay on a strong team like the Patriots.
“Given that, I really wanted to stick around and win games and be on a winning team,” Ninkovich said. “That goes a long way as well. You can go search for money and all that stuff, but if you’re losing every week, you’d be pretty miserable. I want to be here, I want to win and I want to help the team and just continue to be a good football player and be reliable.”