Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Warner trusts Shanahan and Lynch’s vision for the 49ers, feels 2020 is the last losing season

Jan 6, 2021 at 6:06 AM--

There is so much uncertainty for the San Francisco 49ers as they embark into the 2021 offseason. Nearly 40 players are scheduled to become free agents, and the team is pressed up against a salary cap that is expected to drop from $198.2 million to a number that could be as low as $175 million.

General manager John Lynch said this week that the 49ers are operating under the assumption that they will have $175 million to work with this year. Anything more would be a bonus. That means some tough decisions may be on the horizon, and the roster could look very different next season.

Fred Warner, who will need a contract extension himself fairly soon, isn't too worried about the 49ers' future. After all, 2020's downfall had more to do with injuries than anything else. The star linebacker has a lot of trust in Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to navigate the complexities of juggling roster talent and being fiscally responsible.

Warner believes San Francisco's brain trust will figure out a way to ensure the 49ers are once again competing for championships and not going through any more losing seasons.

"There is a lot of free agents," Warner said Tuesday on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "There's no secret about that. And the team will for sure look different next year. The team always looks different year to year. I think, obviously, they did a great job of trying to keep that 2019 group as intact as possible for this season, but this year, it was all about availability. We didn't have our best players available throughout the season just because of injuries.

"Injuries happen every year. You've got to adapt. But this year was for sure unique in that fact. I'm not concerned about how free agency is going to go. I know John and Kyle, they know exactly what they want in this team, and as the core of this team. So, they're going to try to bring back as many guys as possible. Obviously, I wish we could keep all of them because they all mean so much to this team in their own specific way, and those are my boys. Those are my brothers."

Warner understands that the NFL is a business, which means there are always going to be difficult decisions to make by both organizations and players. Sometimes the numbers don't match up. Regardless of the situation, the linebacker sounds fired up for the future and is ready to hit the ground running, no matter what the 49ers roster looks like after this offseason.

"Like I said, whatever group comes back next season, we'll be ready to go," Warner continued. "We have the right type of people in this building. I think that's why you've seen the success. It just doesn't even feel like a losing football team, even though that's weird to say.

"... I think we'll be successful no matter what. I think that will be the last losing season you'll see out of the Niners here."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Warner below.

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