Dre Greenlaw has agreed to a new contract with the 49ers. What does his deal look like and how does it stack up to the rest of the NFL?
The big story from yesterday was the season-ending injury to starting quarterback Trey Lance which left many in 49er fandom sad. It also sadly put a damper on an incredibly impressive Week Two win against the Seattle Seahawks 27-7 which ended a four-game losing streak to the division rivals.
Although vibes around the 49ers were varied, immediately after the game there was news that Dre Greenlaw had agreed to a two-year contract extension that would keep the linebacker in the Bay through the 2024 season. The 2019 fifth-round pick has been one of the patented late-round finds the 49ers have had since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over in 2017.
Taking a look at the contract that will come into effect in 2023, what were the details of the contract? How does his contract stack up to the rest of the NFL and how important is he to the 49ers’ defense?
49ers: Dre Greenlaw’s 2022 Season
Last week Dre Greenlaw was one of the three players who needed to step their game up to win in Week Two after a very disheartening and disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears. And Greenlaw played nicely on Sunday.
Finishing the game with seven tackles, Greenlaw demonstrated his speed and prevalent tenacity which makes him a delight to watch.
Week One against Chicago was the worst game of his career. His two personal foul penalties allowed a team that couldn’t move the ball to get 30 free yards. Also, later on, on the same drive where he got flagged for a face mask, the Niners’ defense allowed a 53-yard touchdown by the Bears.
So far, to start his fourth season in the NFL, Dre Greenlaw has nine solo tackles, thirteen combined tackles, and two tackles-for-loss. It has been the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde experience to start his 2022 season. The 49ers hope his game against Seattle is a harbinger for things to come.
Greenlaw’s Contract Details
Dre Greenlaw was signed to a two-year extension worth up to $19 million and $10 million guaranteed. It’s a nice pay raise from the 2019 fifth-round pick out of Arkansas.
The full contract details have not been released yet, but if you go by what is reported at this moment, he will make nice money. In comparison to linebackers across the NFL, his average salary per year would rank 14th in the NFL ($9.5 million), and his total value would rank 18th ($19 million). Greenlaw’s new extension allows him to play in San Francisco until 2024, which would be his sixth NFL season.
With a quarterback on a rookie deal, the 49ers have the flexibility to extend players like Greenlaw along with others they wish to keep for the future. A big part of the three-headed monster the 49ers deploy at linebacker weekly, San Francisco will have two-thirds of that signed through the 2024 season.
49ers Defense When He’s On/Off The Field
In the 2021 season, Dre Greenlaw played six games during the 2021 regular season and playoffs. In the six games, he played the 49ers’ defense allowed 289.3 yards per game. In fourteen games without Greenlaw, the 49ers’ defense gave up 303.7 yards per game.
Although a small sample size, so far through two games this season, the 49ers defense has allowed 210 yards and 13 points per game with Greenlaw on the field. Both rank top three in the NFL. It goes to show that he makes a difference, like it or not.
Dre Greenlaw is the definition of “all gas, no brakes.” He always plays hard and is someone who helps set the physical tone the 49ers defense hangs their hat on. He is afraid of nothing and is willing to take his game to the edge to win.