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NFL: 49ers sign middle linebacker Warner for 5 more years
NFL

NFL: 49ers sign middle linebacker Warner for 5 more years

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49ers Cardinals Football

San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner warms up before a road game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 26, 2020.

SANTA CLARA — All-Pro middle linebacker Fred Warner has signed a five-year extension with the San Francisco 49ers, taking him through the 2026 season.

The 24-year-old Warner has started all 48 games in his three seasons with San Francisco, making 79 tackles last season with a sack, forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

“We’re extremely excited to have completed a long-term contract extension with Fred prior to the start of training camp,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “Fred brings the type of leadership and energy every day that our defense and team feeds off. He earned this extension through hard work, discipline, and the professional way he goes about his business."

The 49ers selected Warner in the third round of the 2018 draft with the 70th overall pick.

A person familiar with the deal said Wednesday the extension is worth about $95 million with $40.5 million in guarantees, which would make Warner the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL. ESPN first reported the deal.

The deal tops the $18 million a year average for Seattle's Bobby Wagner, which had been the top at the position.

Locking up Warner with a long-term deal was one of the key tasks for San Francisco before the start of training camp next week.

This contract comes on the heels of the $75 million, five-year contract extension that star tight end George Kittle got last summer as the 49ers do their best to keep their young core players. They were unable to do that with defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who was traded for a first-round pick to Indianapolis in 2020 instead.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said during the offseason program he planned to have Warner around “forever” and this new deal helps achieve that goal.

The former third-round pick has developed into one of the top all-around linebackers in the league after being drafted in the third round in 2018. He helped San Francisco make it to the Super Bowl in his second season and then earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2020.

Warner is a skilled all-around linebacker, thriving in coverage and against the run. The 54% completion rate he allowed last season when targeted as the nearest defender ranked the best in the NFL among the linebackers targeted at least 20 times, according to NFL NextGen stats.

In three seasons, he has 21 passes defensed, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks.

The 49ers also signed third-round running back Trey Sermon to a four-year deal and claimed WR Nsimba Webster off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams.

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