SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After re-signing wide receiver Deebo Samuel to a lucrative contract extension in late July, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch suggested the Niners would work to re-sign players they value throughout the season.
It happened again at the most unusual of times Sunday as the team and linebacker Dre Greenlaw reached agreement on a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Niners through the 2024 season.
The deal, which Greenlaw's representatives and the Niners had been working on all week, is expected to be become official Monday but was confirmed by the team and Greenlaw after Sunday's 27-7 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Greenlaw's contract is the second such extension the team has executed in the past three days, pairing with punter Mitch Wishnowsky's four-year extension signed on Friday.
"It's a blessing," Greenlaw told ESPN. "I'm just thankful for this organization, thankful for everything. Just kind of just let some stress off you knowing that if you get hurt, you don't have to worry about much. You just play until you can't play no more. So, that's really the relief that I got."
Originally a fifth-round pick (No. 148 overall) in the 2019 NFL draft, Greenlaw quickly ascended into the Niners' starting weakside linebacker job. He became a fan favorite as a rookie when he made the winning goal-line tackle in a pivotal week 17 victory against the Seattle Seahawks that locked up the NFC West division and helped spur the Niners to the Super Bowl.
Greenlaw's 204 tackles rank third on the Niners since he was drafted, and he has added 2 sacks and 2 interceptions in 34 games. Although he was limited to three games in 2021 because of a groin strain, Greenlaw has been back in his usual spot in the first two weeks of this season, posting 13 tackles.
Although Greenlaw was slated to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and could have waited to test the market, he said he preferred the security and comfort that comes with staying with the only NFL team he knows.
"You want to get as much money as possible but at the end of the day, you want to be happy where you're at," Greenlaw said. "You want to be with a good organization, you want the security, you want to be wanted, all that good stuff. So, I was just in the best position of just being here with the organization and there's really not anywhere else I'd rather be."