Sept. 28, 2015, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith (11)
fumbles as he is sacked by Green Bay Packers' Mike Daniels
during the second half of an NFL football game, in Green Bay,
Wis. The Packers have signed defensive lineman Mike Daniels to a
contract extension, keeping one of the top potential free agents
off the open market this offseason.
GREEN BAY — Mike Daniels plans to
stick with the same approach that got him a contract extension with
the Green Bay Packers on Monday.
Growing up, Daniels said he got
overlooked in high school. Only Iowa looked at Daniels as he headed to
college. And entering the draft in 2012, the 6-foot Daniels heard the
questions about his height and strength, and whether he could play
against the run in the NFL.
Four seasons later, he has turned into
a key figure on the defensive line for the Packers.
The contract extension is worth $42
million over four years, according to a person familiar with the deal
who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because
the team has not released contract details. ESPN.com first reported
"It doesn't change the fact that I
had to grind to get to where I'm at," Daniels said. "Success
is just a product of the work I'm doing. I'll just keep on
Daniels sets the tone with a tough-guy
personality and seemingly non-stop motor on the field. He has become a
force on the line, aided in part also by the return of B.J. Raji this
season from an arm injury.
Coach Mike McCarthy likened Daniels'
style of play to a "buzz saw," who has become more of a
student of the game. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers pointed to
Daniels' temperament as a strength.
"He's got a great defensive
temperament," Capers said. "He has the quickness and
acceleration to get off the block and make a play ... He does all the
things he asks you as a coach."
Daniels has 56 tackles, four sacks and
a forced fumble this year. The fourth-round draft pick is second on
the team with 12 quarterback hits and 19 pressures.
Born in New Jersey, Daniels stays in
Green Bay in the offseason.
"Everybody leaves," Daniels
joked. "I must love the snow, right?"
Daniels told his agent he wanted to
stay in Green Bay. The deal keeps Daniels off the open market in the
offseason, when he would have been one of the top available free
Talks had cooled off before a
conversation about a potential extension began last week. It was
announced on Monday, by which time a few smiles and laughs broke
through Daniels' normally stoic face.
The signing of Daniels solidifies his
standing as a core player on a defense that has played relatively well
over the last five weeks, giving up about 15 points per game during
that span. Green Bay beat Dallas 28-7 on Sunday to take a one-game
lead in the NFC North over Minnesota.
Besides Daniels, linebacker Clay
Matthews, cornerback Sam Shields and safety Morgan Burnett are among
the key defensive players under contract for the next few years or
As for Daniels, he has moved on to
getting ready for next weekend's game against the Raiders.
"It's here, it's done. My name is
on the paper. I've got to play against Oakland," Daniels said.
"Seriously, that's where I'm at."
NOTES: While the defense played well
overall on Sunday, Capers pointed to limiting long runs as a point of
emphasis this week. The Packers allowed runs of 50 and 45 yards to the
Cowboys' Darren McFadden. ... McCarthy said associate head coach Tom
Clements' role hasn't changed, other than McCarthy having taken back
play-calling responsibility against Dallas.