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Panthers sign punter Baker to extension

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CHARLOTTE (AP) -- The Carolina Panthers have signed Jason Baker to a five-year, $8.5 million extension.

It makes him one of the NFL's highest-paid punters.

Baker, who would have become an unrestricted free agent after next season, received a $2.2 million signing bonus in the deal that will keep him with the team through the 2012 season.

The 29-year-old Baker was waived six times by four teams early in his career. But he set team records for net average the past two seasons. Baker had a 45.74-yard gross average last season in 98 punts, the second most in team history.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)