Podcast: 49ers Playoff Expectations With John Chapman →
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #8 Fred Warner

Gilbert Brink
Mar 9, 2020 at 7:07 AM


Fred Warner is the heart and soul of the 49ers defense. Drafted in the 3rd round in 2018, the 49ers saw a rangy hybrid linebacker who represented an evolution of the position. Warner was not meant to be the run stopping middle linebacker from a bygone era, Warner's skills perfectly matched the current state of the game. A game in which passing is emphasized by coaching and officiating, where a good QB earns $30 million a year while the very best running back can't make $15 million.

Though the 49ers drafted Warner with this in mind, they got so much more than they bargained for. Upon his arrival the 49ers hoped to pair him with Rueben Foster as their 1-2 punch at linebacker. Foster was their first-round pick from 2017, and looked to be the future of the defense. This made it even more impressive when Warner, not Foster, got the green dot on his helmet in his rookie season. The 3rd round rookie from BYU displayed the intelligence, leadership and commitment to be the defensive signal caller. By November 2018 Foster was released. Foster's poor behavior was the main reason for his release, but it's hard not to look at the development of Warner as something that made the decision that much easier. Warner was becoming what Foster was drafted to be, a team leader.

In 2019 the 49ers paired Warner with free-agent linebacker Kwon Alexander and then magic happened. Once timid, Alexander instilled confidence in Fred Warner, and in doing so, Warner's game elevated to a higher echelon. In 2018 Warner was solid, in 2019 Warner was a threat. With Warner commanding the defense the 49ers made it all the way to Super Bowl 54 and came up just short of a championship. While they may have lost a title, they found their defensive leader for the next decade in the process.

2019 Performance


Warner's statistical output saw a significant jump from 2018 to 2019. His ability to create turnovers was the most obvious area of improvement. Overall Warner recorded 118 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 9 passes defended, 1 interception and 1 touchdown. Warner did it all for the 49ers in 2019. Pro Football Focus graded Warner out at a 66.9.

2020 Cost


Warner may be the very best value player on the 49ers in 2020, considering George Kittle will get a new deal of course. The 49ers are only paying Warner $1 million this coming season.

Future Outlook


Picture Warner in red & gold for the next 10 years. His contract expires in 2021, at which point the 49ers would be foolish not to re-sign him and pay him like the cornerstone he is. His vast improvement from year 1 to year 2, coupled with his unquestionable leadership ability makes him a player the 49ers cannot afford to lose. When examining contracts of other players around the league at his position, it's fair to estimate his contract should cost the 49ers around $11-13 million per year. That will be money well spent.



Next: No. 7 - Richard Sherman
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



"It really sucks": Brock Purdy, Fred Warner, other 49ers react to heartbreaking Jimmy Garoppolo injury news

By David Bonilla
Dec 4

When Kyle Juszczyk was getting ready to head back onto the field for the San Francisco 49ers' second offensive drive of the game against the Miami Dolphins, he noticed rookie quarterback Brock Purdy warming up. The fullback was confused. "I didn't see him get hurt," Juszczyk said after the game of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. "And the next drive, I just saw Purdy warming up. I'm like, 'Where's Jimmy at?' It wasn't until, I think, I was running out onto the field that I realized that Jimmy was even out." It turned out to be a devastating injury. The veteran quarterback will undergo season-ending surgery on a broken left foot. "I feel so bad for him and everything that he's had to go through," Juszczyk said. "It just seems like we've been down this



Fred Warner: 49ers can win the Super Bowl with Brock Purdy at QB

By David Bonilla
Dec 5

On Monday morning, NFL legend Jerry Rice declared that everyone on the San Francisco 49ers roster will need to step up their game now that the team is down to QB3 on the depth chart. Rookie Brock Purdy, the last overall pick in this year's draft, will be the quarterback moving forward after Jimmy Garoppolo went down early in Sunday's 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. "It's going to be up to those guys to elevate their game just a little bit more, make things a little easier for Brock," Rice said on 95.7 The Game. "Get open, so he doesn't have to hold onto the football. And we've still got to continue running the ball, and we've got to rely on that defense to win championships



Fred Warner finds 49ers teammate Nick Bosa 'hilarious'

By David Bonilla
Dec 6

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner joined KNBR on Tuesday and was asked about one of his teammates, defensive end Nick Bosa. Hosts Tom Tolbert and Adam Copeland specifically asked about the following viral clip, showing off the dominant pass rusher's unique style of humor. The video shows Warner firing up the defense against the Los Angeles Chargers and then capturing Bosa's response to the linebacker's encouraging words. "Can't agree more," Bosa said in his typical laid-back tone. Nick Bosa's deadpan humor: criminally underrated



49ers-Dolphins: How to watch, stream, and listen to the Week 13 matchup

By Site Staff
Nov 30

The San Francisco 49ers take on the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium this week in the second of a three-game homestand. This game marks the 14th meeting all-time between the Niners and the Dolphins and the second time that the Dolphins have visited Levi's Stadium. The Dolphins lead the all-time series between the two teams, 8-6. Previous game The 49ers are coming off a 13-0 win against the New Orleans Saints. On offense, the 49ers tallied 317 total yards, with 222 yards coming through the air from QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who completed 27 of his 36 passing attempts, including a five-yard touchdown pass to WR Jauan Jennings, which was his first touchdown reception of the season. Jennings finished the game with six receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown, while WR


Featured

More by Gilbert Brink

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone