49ers fans probably have known Fred Warner was a special player since his 124-tackle rookie season in 2018.
But the rest of the NFL took notice in 2020, as the linebacker earned a Pro-Bowl selection and All-Pro honors for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old recently implied on Twitter that he has another level to reach.
Warner racked up 125 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and six pass breakups this year while anchoring San Francisco’s defense from the second level. He earned Pro Football Focus’ top grade among linebackers with an 86.6, ahead of other stars like Seattle Seahawks' Bobby Wagner (85.1) and Minnesota Vikings' Eric Kendricks (82.6).
Warner is still young and could be entering the prime years of his career. He’s set to make $3.6 million in 2021 before hitting free agency, should the 49ers not extend him. Warner would surely command a huge payday if he has another solid season with San Francisco.
Warner spoke with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco this offseason about his career goals.
“It’s kind of crazy to think about because this was only my third year, and I have so much room to improve,” Warner told Maiocco. “I have so much growth that still needs to happen and that’s the great part about this game: You’ve never got it. The moment you say you’ve got something, that’s when you lose it.
“I’m going to continue to get better because ultimately I’m trying to get that ring on my finger at the end of this. That’s what the entire team mindset going into 2021, that we’re going to work our tails off this offseason to put ourselves right back in that position to win the thing.”