Fred Warner celebrates a tackle during the 2020 season. (AP Photo)

Former Cougar Fred Warner becomes NFL’s highest-paid inside linebacker

Former BYU football player Fred Warner signed a five-year, $95 million contract extension with the San Fransisco 49ers on Wednesday, making him the NFL’s highest-paid inside linebacker.

A three-year starter at BYU, Warner was drafted in the third round by the 49ers in 2018 and quickly established himself as one of the league’s elite defenders. He racked up over 118 tackles in each of his first three seasons, ranking seventh in the NFL over that span, along with 15 pass breakups and three interceptions. He was named First-Team All-Pro this past year and helped San Fransisco reach Super Bowl LIV in 2020, where he intercepted Kansas City Chiefs MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Warner’s deal comes with $40.5 million in guaranteed money, the most ever for a former BYU player. For comparison, fellow Cougar alumnus and inside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, a two-time Super Bowl champion, signed a four-year, $51 million deal with the Miami Dolphins in 2020 with $30 million guaranteed. Even former BYU quarterback and second overall pick Zach Wilson’s contract pales in comparison to Warner’s, as the Deseret News projects his rookie deal with the New York Jets to hover around $35 million guaranteed once he signs.

Warner is set to make an average annual salary of $19 million, the most for a Cougar since the Detroit Lions paid defensive end Ezekiel Ansah $17 million in 2018.

Several BYU teammates congratulated Warner on the new deal, including Van Noy, who tweeted, “Very proud of you bro! My man deserves all of that.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Top Sports Stories

Cougars in the pros: Wilson struggles and ‘Jamaal That’ debuts

Former BYU football players in the NFL experienced some highs and lows in week two. Zach Wilson struggled in a four interception performance while Ty'Son Williams continued his success on the ground in a Ravens win and Jamaal Williams made a splash on the Lions' Twitter account.

SmartyStreets enters into NIL deal with all female athletes at BYU

Another big drop in the Name, Image and Likeness bucket has fallen in Provo, with address verification company SmartyStreets entering into a deal with all female student-athletes at BYU on Tuesday.

Universe Sports Talk – BYU/ASU Reaction, Allgeier Punch Fumble

It's the first episode of Universe Sports Talk from The Daily Universe. Sports editor Caleb Turner (@calebturner23) and reporter Jackson Payne (@jackson5payne) run through the latest on BYU football, including the wild ASU game and what BYU fans should be looking out for in coming weeks.

BYU football upsets Arizona State 27-17 against all odds

In an early candidate for college football's game of the year, No. 23 BYU kept its hype train running with a chaotic 27-17 upset victory over No. 19 Arizona State Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- Advertisement -
Print Friendly, PDF & Email