Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


A look at the details of Fred Warner’s contract extension with the 49ers

Jul 22, 2021 at 6:46 AM--



Soon after news of the deal broke, Pro Football Talk released the details of linebacker Fred Warner's massive contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. The five-year deal has a potential value of $95.225 million, including $40.5 million guaranteed. That would earn the All-Pro linebacker about $19 million a year.

Interestingly, the contract's final two years are voidable, so the 49ers can choose to pick up those years if they find themselves in a healthy salary-cap situation. If they don't, then they have some options.

Looking only at the extension itself and not 2021, which is the final year of his rookie deal, here is a year-by-year breakdown, per OverTheCap.com. The signing bonus is paid out immediately but is prorated throughout the length of the deal.

2022
Base salary: $2,564,000
Prorated signing bonus: $5,000,000
Roster bonuses: $500,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Guaranteed salary: $1,580,000
Cap hit: $8,164,000

2023
Base salary: $12,925,000
Prorated signing bonus: $5,000,000
Roster bonuses: $500,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $18,525,000

2024
Base salary: $15,300,000
Prorated signing bonus: $5,000,000
Roster bonuses: $500,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Other bonus: $3,600,000
Cap hit: $24,500,000

Reports indicate that the $3.6 million bonus is part of the option to pick up the next two years.

2025 (option)
Base salary: $17,650,000
Prorated signing bonus: $5,000,000
Roster bonuses: $500,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $23,250,000

2026 (option)
Base salary: $17,650,000
Prorated signing bonus: $2,536,000
Roster bonuses: $500,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Cap hit: $20,786,000

As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network points out, Warner's deal can be viewed as two contracts. A three-year deal that can become a five-year one. Of course, even if the 49ers don't pick up the options, but Warner is still playing well, they could always restructure it and extend it further, thereby offsetting some of the costs. Even getting out of the final two years won't be cheap. More on that in a second.

Warner's contract is worth up to $54.9 million as a three-year deal, averaging $18.3 million per year.

"That eclipses the three-year extension Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner signed in 2019, which was for $54.0 million," wrote Rapoport.

According to Rapoport, getting completely out of the final two years will cost San Francisco $21.85 million, earning the linebacker a total of $76.8 million. Obviously, that would not be the ideal scenario for the 49ers, but it is an exit strategy. That will be right when the team can start looking into a contract extension for Trey Lance, assuming the quarterback performs as everyone hopes.

"The deal's creative structure provides Warner a ton of security upfront with a record-breaking short-term extension that's nearly 70 percent guaranteed," wrote Rapoport. "Plus, it also gives the 49ers a choice to make a few years down the road."

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