Updated: May 5, 2010, 4:39 PM ET
Evans deal worth reported $56.7M
By Adam Schefter
One day after San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis signed a $50 million contract, New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans has reached agreement on an even bigger deal.
Evans, 26, and the Saints agreed on a seven-year that was announced by the team Wednesday.
According to league sources, the contract is worth $56.7 million deal, the richest deal ever given to a guard. Evans will receive $19 million in the first year of the contract and $25.7 million in the first three years of the deal, sources said.
"We liked what we saw from him as a small-school prospect in the draft four years ago, and I can say that we've loved what we've seen from him on the NFL level as well," general manager Mickey Loomis said in a statement.
Evans, out of NCAA Division II Bloomsburg (Pa.) University, was picked by the Saints in the fourth round in 2006. He has started all 64 games at right guard since being drafted.
The move will keep one of the Saints' top players in New Orleans through the 2016 season and at least temporarily deflect some of the attention on the Vicodin issues surrounding the team.
The Saints have been dealing with the fallout from a civil lawsuit alleging the team covered up the theft of Vicodin prescription pills by a senior staff member at the team's training headquarters.
The civil suit, seeking damages and back pay, was filed by former security director Geoffrey Santini, who claims he was compelled to resign because of the team's handling of the Vicodin episode.
The Saints have said the allegations are false and represent an attempt by Santini, who resigned last August, to shake down the club. Team spokesman Greg Bensel has said the club will aggressively defend itself in court.