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Golden Nuggets: Fred Warner’s contract reads like a three-year, $42 million deal

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Thursday, July 22, 2021

NFL: San Francisco 49ers OTA Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Spotrac explains this in further detail below, but Fred Warner’s contract has a potential out after three years, which means his yearly cash will be $42.6 million over the next three years. They did not update his base salary, so I’m unsure if that figure will change.

If Warner comes out to $14 million over the next three seasons, the 49ers got a steal. Warner isn’t just one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL, he’s one of the best coverage players in the NFL.

49ers S Tony Jefferson itching to return after year away from football

In an interview with MJ Acosta on NFL Network, Jefferson said he’s eager to prove he can still play after a year off.

“Sitting out a year, you just completely miss everything,” Jefferson said. “You just want to put your hand in the pile at this point. For me, being undrafted, it’s like starting all over again and just going out there and proving yourself and making a name. Cause, you know, you sit out a year, a lot of people forget. Forget who you are, forget what you’ve done, and it’s time for me to remind people.”

Spotrac - Fred Warner contract details

Contract Notes:

  • $27.5M guaranteed at signing (signing bonus + 2021 salary + 2022 option bonus + $1.58M of 2022 salary)
  • Additional $984,000 of 2022 salary fully guarantees on 4/1/2022
  • 2022 Option Bonus: $12.68M (guaranteed, paid 4/1/2022)
  • $12.016M of 2023 salary fully guarantees 4/1/2023 (injury guaranteed now)
  • Workout Bonus: $100,000
  • 2022-2026 Per Game Active Bonus: $29,411 ($500,000)
  • 2024 Voidable Years Buyout: $3.6M (49ers must pay this to process the 2025-26 voids)

What’s next for 49ers front office after Fred Warner’s extension?

The good news is that shelling out big-money contracts is a good “problem” to have. Loading up on good players is typically a strong team-building strategy, FYI. Even if Bosa doesn’t demand on extension this year, he’ll earn one the following year. Then if Trey Lance is the star they believe he can be he’ll get a massive contract a couple years after that.

Managing the cap is going to be crucial for the 49ers as they maneuver through all these big-money deals. Of all the issues a front office has to navigate, this is the best one to have. If San Francisco continues having to work in top-of-market contracts for their players, chances are they’re going to be in contention too.

Warner’s extension means 49ers must ask even more of star

It also suggests the 49ers expect Warner to continue to build his game. They expect him to fill in the gaps and provide more contributions in areas where the 49ers might be lacking.

There are legitimate questions about the 49ers’ pass rush this season. We all saw how the production of the 49ers’ defensive front took a nosedive last season without DeForest Bucker, who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, and after injuries to Nick Bosa and Dee Ford.

Warner must be turned loose more than in the past. The 49ers must rely on him to become a big part of the team’s pass rush. They also must deploy him to attack and make more tackles behind the line of scrimmage on run plays.

Juice envisions Jimmy and Lance helping 49ers win in 2021

“My thought is that, as long as Jimmy is healthy, I think he’s our guy,” Juszczyk said. “And I think that doesn’t mean that there’s not a place for Trey to contribute in Year 1.

“So my thought process is, if Trey’s out there, there’s something that he’s doing right during the week that Kyle sees, whatever he’s doing is going to help us win.”

If Lance takes over as the starter, the most likely scenarios are that Garoppolo is struggling or he exits due to an injury. But Juszczyk can see a scenario in which Lance is doing all the things necessary to earn an opportunity to have a role.