49ers: Fred Warner’s contract named most team-friendly on roster

49ers Fred Warner (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
49ers Fred Warner (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

San Francisco 49ers’ linebacker Fred Warner’s contract was named the most team-friendly.

San Francisco 49ers‘ general manager John Lynch has seemingly mastered the idea of team-building using affordable rookie contracts. And perhaps no player is more representative of this than linebacker Fred Warner.

Up and down the 49ers roster, the team is stacked with a mixture of impressive veterans and standout young players. Many of those veterans hold hefty cap hits — including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

And the only way to counteract those expensive contracts is by maximizing the talent among your players still on rookie deals. The 49ers have that concept down to an exact science.

Aside from Warner, the likes of George Kittle and Nick Bosa represent some of the team’s best players — all of whom are still playing on their rookie contracts.

But which contract is the most team-friendly? That’s exactly the question that Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report set out to determine in a recent article where he detailed the most team-friendly deal on every NFL roster.

And the answer might have come as a surprise to some 49ers fans.

49ers linebacker Fred Warner was selected as having the organization’s most team-friendly contract.

Sobleski went with the rising star in Warner who is set to make just over $1 million in 2020. It’s safe to say that’s well below his level of production.

The author had the following to say about his choice of Warner.

"“Linebacker Fred Warner, who the 49ers selected in the third round of the ’18 draft, is different [than Kittle and Bosa]. He’s quite affordable over the next two seasons despite being one of the game’s best young off-ball linebackers. Warner’s salary-cap hit won’t exceed $1.3 million during that span”"

The argument for Warner over the likes of Kittle and Bosa stems from the fact that the 49ers will have their linebacker on an incredibly affordable deal for the next two seasons.

Kittle, while incredibly underpaid, is likely due an extension in the near future. Meanwhile, Bosa may be on his rookie deal, but he is being paid using the first-round pay scale.

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That means that he will carry salary cap hits of $7.7 million, $9.3 million and $10.7 million over the next three years. That’s a far cry from Warner’s $1 million hit or even Kittle’s $2.2 million cap hit.

Warner entered the season as the presumed starter at linebacker alongside prized free-agent addition Kwon Alexander. But once Alexander went down with a torn pectoral in the middle of the year, Warner truly came into his own.

Now one of the fastest-rising young linebackers in the league, the sky’s the limit for the former BYU standout. And much like Kittle, don’t be surprised to see the 49ers do right by their young star and extend him in the near future.

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But until that point, San Francisco will continue to reap the benefits of his dirt-cheap contract.