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As is often the case for NFL teams this time of year, the San Francisco 49ers are in cap-clearing mode. The 49ers restructured the contract of star linebacker Fred Warner, according to The Athletic, converting all but $1.1 million of his base salary into a signing bonus and saving approximately $10 million against the cap. 

Warner was set to carry a base salary of $15.3 million in 2024, which would have led to his counting for $24.5 million on San Francisco's books. He will instead have a base salary of $1.125 million and the Niners will spread the remaining $14.2 million over the final four years of Warner's deal, dropping his cap hit for the 2024 season to $13.8 million.

Warner is still widely considered the best off-ball linebacker in the NFL, having been named a Pro Bowler and First Team All-Pro in three of the last four years. He has missed just one game in his six-year career, and the Niners have gone to the Super Bowl twice and NFC title game four times during his time with the team. 

He may have to play at least part of next season without his longtime linebacking partner, Dre Greenlaw, who suffered a torn Achilles while running onto the field after a change of possession during the Niners' loss to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. San Francisco should nonetheless remain among the top defenses in the NFL due to the depth of talent it has on all three levels, and Warner's contract restructure should help the team add talent elsewhere.