Former BYU Cougar Fred Warner is now the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL

Warner has reportedly signed a 5-year, $95M deal with the San Francisco 49ers

FILE - San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) plays against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. Warner was selected Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to The Associated Press All-Pro Team. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart, File)

Just six days before the San Francisco 49ers are scheduled to report to training camp, the team presented a deal to keep linebacker Fred Warner for at least another five years.

On Wednesday, the former BYU player, who played for the Cougars 2014-17 and was selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, signed a five-year, $95 million contract, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal, which goes into effect next season, includes $40.5 million guaranteed, with a $19 million average annual value.

“Obviously, I want to be a Niner for life,” Warner told ESPN in late May. “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.”

The former Cougar currently ranks seventh in the NFL in tackles (366), has 250-plus solo tackles (252) and 15-plus pass breakups (16) in that time. Last season, Wagner made 125 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

The 24-year-old also earned his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods.

While at BYU, Warner led BYU in total tackles in his final two seasons (2016, 2017) and made 264 career tackles — ranking No. 24 in BYU history.

At $19 million per year, Warner would also be the highest-paid athlete from Utah in the league today. Here are some of the other top earners, per Spotrac.com and media reports:

• Taysom Hill (BYU), QB, New Orleans Saints: In March, Hill signed a four-year extension worth a reported $140 million, including a $9.7 million signing bonus.

• Bobby Wagner (Utah State), LB, Seattle Seahawks: The Pro-Bowl linebacker signed a three-year, $54-million extension in 2019.

• Garett Bolles (Utah), OT, Denver Broncos: The lineman was rewarded with a four-year deal potentially worth $68 million last year.

• Marcus Williams (Utah), FS, New Orleans Saints: The franchise-tagged safety should be in line for a payday of around $10 million next season, with the possibility of an even bigger deal on the horizon.

• Star Lotulelei (Utah), NT, Buffalo Bills: The lineman opted out of his contract in 2020, and signed a restructured deal worth $18.6 million over three years.

• Michael Davis (BYU), CB, L.A. Chargers: The defensive back signed a three-year deal worth a reported $25.2 million. About $15 million of the deal is fully guaranteed.

• Eric Rowe (Utah), CB, Miami Dolphins: The corner is in the middle of a three-year deal worth up to $16.5 million.

• Jamaal Williams (BYU), RB, Detroit Lions: After leaving Green Bay, the former Cougar running back inked a two-year, $7.5 million deal with Detroit.

• Tim Patrick (Utah), WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2020, Patrick received a tender worth $3,384,000 this season.

• Jordan Love (Utah State), QB, Green Bay Packers: The heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers has signed a four-year deal with the Packers. All $12.38 million of the contract is reportedly fully guaranteed.

Return to Story