49ers linebacker Fred Warner has become the league’s highest-paid inside linebacker with his five-year extension signed earlier this week.
Speaking to the media for the first time since striking the deal on Thursday, Warner told reporters getting the deal done before training camp helps put his mind at ease.
“I think I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some pressure [to sign before training camp],” Warner said, via David Bonilla of 49erswebzone.com. “I think everyone handled the situation flawlessly. It was a great experience, and it was something that I was hoping to be done before training camp so I could just focus on this season and being my best self, not having to worry about all that stuff. I trusted in my agent and everyone who was involved in the deal.
“I’m just happy it’s over,” Warner added with a laugh.
Warner was named a first-team All-Pro for the first time last season after recording 125 total tackles, five tackles for loss, seven QB hits, a pair of interceptions, six passes defensed, and a forced fumble.
“My goals and aspirations are always going to be set to the highest standard, higher than anybody else can put on me,” Warner said. “And that holds true to the season, even before this contract was set and done. My [personal] goals and my goals for this team, they don’t change. So that’s what’s exciting, is now we can put that behind us, or I can put that behind me and really focus on football and how I can provide my best self for this team.”
Those goals? Personally for Warner, it’s building on what he accomplished in 2020. And for the team, it’s making it back to and winning the Super Bowl.
“[B]ut it all starts with training camp, day one,” Warner said. “That’s where our mindset is at. I’m always going to be striving to be the best version of myself, no matter what, and I know the whole team has that same mindset. And we’re going to go hard in about a week or so.”