Fred Warner has parlayed his fast start into a massive payday. The 2018 third-round pick has agreed to a five-year, $95 million extension with the 49ers that includes $40.5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal makes Warner the league's highest-paid linebacker.
A starter since his rookie season, the former BYU standout racked up 124 tackles during his first season in San Francisco. In 2019, Warner tallied 118 tackles along with three forced fumbles and his first career interception. Warner's play that season helped propel the 49ers to an NFC title and appearance in Super Bowl LIV. Last season, despite injuries to a host of his teammates, Warner continued to produce at a high level. He earned his first All-Pro selection after tallying 125 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Warner's play last season earned him the 31st spot on CBS Sports senior writer Pete Prisco's annual list of the league's top-100 players.
"He is one of the best off-the-ball linebackers in the game," Prisco said of the 24-year-old Warner. "He is smart, can run, and knows how to get to the football. He is finally starting to get his due."
Warner is one of the top players on a 49ers defense that also includes fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw, defensive ends Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford, cornerback Jason Verrett and fellow defensive backs Jaquiski Tartt, Jimmie Ward and K'Waun Williams.
After an injury-marred 2020 season, coach Kyle Shanahan is hoping to have the 49ers back among the NFL's elite in 2021. The 49ers currently have the second-best odds to win their second NFC East title in three years, according to William Hill Sportsbook. The Los Angeles Rams are favored to win the division following the offseason acquisition of quarterback Matt Stafford.