Fred Warner becomes the new highest-paid linebacker in the NFL

May 25, 2021; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) during Organized Team Activities at San Francisco 49ers Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner is now the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after signing a new contract with the 49ers. San Francisco is giving Warner a five-year, 95 million dollar contract extension. In addition, Warner will make 19 million per year with over 40 million in guaranteed money.

Warner is only 24-years-old and is coming off of the best season of his career. The 49ers struggled with injuries and missed the playoff in 2020. However, Warner played all 16 games, made the Pro Bowl, and was a first-team All-Pro. Warner isn’t the only 49er to sign a massive contract extension. Their head coach, starting tackle, and star tight end have all signed massive deals over the last few years.

Warner passes Bobby Wagner for the highest salary for any linebacker in NFL history. Wagner was making 18 million a season before Warner signed his deal. As a result, Warner is setting a new standard for the linebacker position.

Warner’s deal means players like Darius Leonard and Roquan Smith should be expecting similar contracts as well. All three players were drafted back in 2018 and play a key role on their team’s defenses.

Warner is earning respect from his peers around the league. Last season, Aaron Rodgers had high praise for the 24-year-old linebacker.

“It was good for us. It was a different game. They’re obviously depleted on both sides of the ball. They’ve had probably one of the worst injury years I’ve seen in a long time. So, it’s not the same football team that we saw twice last year. But, they still have possibly the best middle linebacker in the game, and a lot of pride, and we went out and executed the way we expected to.”

Aaron Rodgers

Warner is the captain of the 49ers’ defense and will keep that role for years to come. The 49ers had a disappointing 2020 filled with injuries. However, San Francisco was in the Super Bowl in 2019 and expects to get back there again if they can stay healthy.

Warner is now the new highest-paid linebacker in NFL history. The 49ers start training camp in less than a week and now have their star linebacker locked in with a new deal.

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