Report: Fred Warner, 49ers Agree to 5-year Contract Worth over $95m: Highest-Paid ILB

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The San Francisco 49ers and linebacker Fred Warner reportedly agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract with $40 million in guarantees Wednesday.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported terms of the deal, which will make him the NFL's highest-paid inside linebacker. Warner had one year remaining on his rookie contract.

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosely still has the highest total guarantee for an inside linebacker at $51 million. Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts is expected to be the next non-pass-rushing linebacker to sign a new contract, which could top Warner's average annual value.

Selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, Warner has emerged as one of the most dynamic linebackers in football. He made his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in 2020, recording 125 total tackles, two interceptions and one sack. Pro Football Focus gave him an 88.6 overall rating for the year.

"Obviously, I want to be a Niner for life, too, right?" Warner told reporters in May. "I know all that stuff will work itself out in due time, and I'm just focused on being the best player I can for this team. That's why I'm here. I'm working with my guys, and we have huge aspirations and goals for this season. I'm really excited about this season that we're going to have."

While this deal is not a lifetime contract—nor is any deal in the non-guaranteed world of the NFL—it would span the majority of his prime if Warner plays out the length of the deal. Warner will not hit free agency again, barring a release, until he's at least 30 years old.

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