Fred Warner and the 49ers have agreed on a five-year, $95 million extension, with $40.5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. This will make him the highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL.
The 24-year-old was in the final year of his rookie deal and was set to be a free agent after next season. However, San Francisco decided to lock up their star linebacker and defensive leader.
Last season, Warner was selected for his first Pro Bowl appearance and First-Team All-Pro selection. The former third-round pick in 2018 racked up a total of 125 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and one sack. He’s posted over 115 tackles in each of his three seasons. His lowest total was 118 in 2019.
On top of being a great run stuffer, Warner is among the best coverage linebackers in the league. He allowed a completion rate of just 54 percent, the lowest by any linebacker. Warner also had the best catch rate allowed below expectation of any defender since 2017 with -16.5%. This means he made the most unexpected plays to deny an on-target pass. Not to mention, Warner’s also had six pass deflections and two interceptions this season.
The new contract will set a precedent among the league’s best linebackers. Behind Warner, the next highest contract is held by the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner and is a three-year, $54 million extension.
However, Warner’s contract could be surpassed by the Colts’ Darius Leonard. According to PFF, Leonard could receive over $19 million.
Nevertheless, Warner is the undisputed highest-paid linebacker for now, and the 49ers get to retain their defensive stud.
As for San Francisco, they will look to return to the playoffs after failing to reach the postseason last year.
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