The money could have been greener on the other side of free agency — and the country — but not necessarily the grass.

Jered Weaver endeared himself to a legion of sports fans, if not his agent, on Tuesday when he acknowledged hours before the Angels' game against the Chicago White Sox that he had allowed a considerable hometown discount to sign a five-year, $85-million contract extension.

The 28-year-old right-hander and two-time All-Star, who grew up in Simi Valley and played at Long Beach State, would have become a free agent after 2012.

With another standout season — Weaver is 14-6 with a major league-leading 2.10 earned run average — he might have been in line for a CC Sabathia-type contract of seven years and $161 million.

Fans were skeptical Weaver would remain an Angel beyond 2012 because Weaver's agent, Scott Boras, prefers his clients go to free agency, where they can earn the most money.

But when the Angels approached Weaver about an extension a few weeks ago, Weaver instructed Boras to consummate a deal, even if it meant potentially leaving tens of millions on the table.

"How much more money do you need?" Weaver said, eliciting cheers from a small but raucous crowd at an Angel Stadium news conference. "I've never played this game for money. I play it for love and for championships.

"There comes a point in time when you do have to deal with the business side of things, but I don't think money had anything to do with my decision. I could have gotten more, whatever, who cares? I'm here, and that's all I care about."

Attempts to reach Boras, who was out of town Tuesday, were unsuccessful. The agent was quoted in Tuesday's USA Today as saying Weaver's decision to forgo free agency "would cost him millions and millions of dollars."

Did Weaver, who is 78-45 with a 3.30 ERA in his career, go against the advice of Boras to sign with the Angels?

"Scott is who he is," Weaver said. "A lot of people know him to go out there and get the most [money], but I'm very secure with what I have here. It was my decision. He showed me what the options are. I told him I wanted to be an Angel, to stay in Southern California. It didn't take too much twisting of arms to get this done."