New Orleans Saints all-time sack leader Cameron Jordan has agreed to a two-year contract extension that could keep him with his only NFL club through a 15th season.
“Luckily, I don’t think I’ll ever have to see myself being anything other than black and gold,” Jordan said Friday at a news conference attended by his wife, four children and father Steve Jordan, a former Pro Bowl tight end with Minnesota.
Becoming a pro football star in New Orleans “has become an extension of who I am,” Jordan added, noting that “all our friends that have become like family throughout the years” live in the area.
A first-round draft choice out of California in 2011, Jordan is entering the final season of a three-year, $52.5 million extension he signed in 2019. The eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end’s contract for the next two seasons is reportedly worth $27.5 million.
While it’s common for NFL stars seeking contract extensions to hold out, the 34-year-old Jordan participated fully in the first seven practices of Saints training camp. Only when his deal was done did he finally accept a veteran’s day off from practice on Friday.
“For me, it’s all about: What can I do to get better? What can I do to hone my craft? This is the time period to do so,” Jordan said. “This is what I look forward to. I’m looking to hone my craft and inflict some damage.”
Last season, the 6-foot-4, 287-pound Jordan led the Saints with 8 1/2 sacks, giving him a career total of 115 1/2, eclipsing Pro Football Hall of Famer Ricky Jackson’s 115 with the club.
In 12 seasons, Jordan also has 15 forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Jordan has been extraordinarily durable, missing just two of 194 career regular-season games. He has not missed any of the Saints’ 11 postseason games during his career.
“When I got drafted, I was like, ’All right, I got to make a Pro Bowl,'” Jordan said.
“After that it has all been lagniappe,” Jordan added, using a Louisiana French Creole word for a bonus, or extra gift. “I know one mode and that’s to go as hard as I can.”
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The new contract overlaps the next Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans after the 2024 season, and Jordan mentioned that he was hoping to have the rare opportunity to play for a championship in his NFL home.
Jordan also reflected on numerous school visits and other community service efforts that strengthened his ties to New Orleans, and noted how the Saints, including owner Gayle Benson, had supported and participated in such projects.
“That’s been a reason why I wanted to stay in the building,” Jordan said.
And Jordan said he appreciated public comments Saints general manager Mickey Loomis made this past offseason about wanting him to finish his career with the Saints.
“When the love is reciprocated,” Jordan said, “it feels good.”
Reporting by The Associated Press
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