SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco 49ers and linebacker Fred Warner agreed to a five-year $95 million contract on July 21. The contract will make Warner the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in NFL history.
Warner’s deal includes a $40.5 million guarantee that surpasses the previous $18 million average annual value held by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. His guaranteed total is the second highest total for an off-ball linebacker, according to ESPN.
“Obviously, I want to be a Niner for life,” Warner said in a statement to ESPN. “I know all that stuff will work itself out in due time. I’m just focused on being the best player I can for this team. That’s why I’m here, working with my guys and we have huge aspirations and goals for this season.”
Last season, Warner finished with 125 tackles, a sack, a forced tumble, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions. He earned his first Pro Bowl and All Pro nods along with two of the most prestigious team awards given by the 49ers.
“He’s a great player,” Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN’s NFL front office insider, said in a statement. “He’ll be up there. To me, he should be at the top of that market. He should be at the very high end of the market.”
He joins George Kittle and Trent Williams in landing record-setting contracts for their positions last year. Warner’s deal will help reset the market for his position now that the Indianapolis Colts’ Darius Leonard and Chicago Bears’ Roquan Smith are due for extensions.