49ers, Fred Warner agree to five-year extension

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The San Francisco 49ers and linebacker Fred Warner have agreed to a long-term deal.

According to reports including ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday, the two sides agreed to a five-year deal. That will keep Warner with the Niners through the 2026 season.

Warner entered the NFL as third-round pick of the 49ers at the 2018 NFL draft out of BYU. The defender was set to play on the final year of his rookie deal in 2021.

Per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Warner’s deal is a massive one, too. He’ll be the NFL’s highest-paid middle linebacker as things currently stand:

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In 2020, Warner was named a first-team All-Pro. However, prior to being drafted by San Francisco, Warner was pegged as anything but that.

Warner fell into the third round because pre-draft analyst pegged him as a “tweener” and potentially better suited as an edge defender. Instead, Warner converted to his middle linebacker spot and is now in discussion as potentially the best player in the NFL at his job.

Pro Football Focus actually took that idea to the next level regarding Warner. The sideline-to-sideline linebacker was named the best player in the league, at any position, that’s 25-and-younger, by the football analytics outlet.

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