49ers Exec Believes New $4 Million Defender Can Play Immediately

Darrell Luter

Getty Darrell Luter performs a DB drill on March 3, 2023 in Indianapolis.

With the bevy of Pro Bowlers and impact defenders on the San Francisco 49ers, one would think that the incoming rookies would be immediately in sit-and-learn mode.

However, 49ers executive Adam Peters believes differently for one of the Niners‘ late-round finds.

The assistant general manager Peters beamed highly of fifth-round selection Darrell Luter Jr., who officially signed a four-year rookie deal worth up to $4.15 million per Over the Cap, in an interview with Matt Barrows of The Athletic released Tuesday, May 9. Peters instantly believes Luter can insert himself onto the defensive rotation right away.

“There’s not going to be a lot of us trying to bring him along,” Peters said. “He’s ready to be a pro right now.”

‘He Liked Luter a Lot’

Peters isn’t the only one inside the 49ers facility who’s raving about the draft selection from South Alabama. There was one member of the 49ers who hoped to see Luter in the Bay Area.

Peters shared new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who’s area of expertise is defensive backs, was one who took a strong liking to the Group of Five defender from the Sun Belt Conference.

“He liked Luter a lot,” Peters said of Wilks. “At that point in the draft, there were so many corners (available). Everybody kind of likes something different. But this was a guy who fit what he was looking for in terms of the athletic profile, the size, the physicality. He ran fast (4.46-second 40) and he played even faster.”

Following the draft, Luter sent this message via the Bay Area media of what he’s bringing to the 49ers.

“Honestly, I’m very versatile,” Luter told the media. “I play both nickel and outside corner, so, I mean, I can play both. Of course, I have had majority of my career being outside, but I’ve also been reintroduced a couple of times back at Nickel since high school, so I can play both positions. It doesn’t matter which one, as long as I’m able to help out the team in any way.”

Additional Details of Luter’s Deal Plus Good Omen on His Side

Here’s what else is included in the cornerback’s first contract per OTC:

  • 2023 salary cap charge is $828,378
  • 2023 cash payout is $1,063,512
  • Annually, Luter will make $1,038,378 per year
  • Fully guaranteed money is set for $313,512
  • He’ll start with $750,000 for his base salary in the 2023 season
  • Base salary inflates to $915,000 in 2024
  • Finally, Luter’s total base salary is set for $3,840,000

Luter is also heading to the Bay Area with this good omen on his side: Entering the 49ers’ facility as a fifth-rounder.

That round has become the part where the 49ers find their hidden gems in the era of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. It began with discovering George Kittle in the fifth during their first draft together in 2017. Former 49er D.J. Reed went from fifth-rounder to brief starter. Then in 2019, Dre Greenlaw came to the 49ers via the fifth round.

Then, in the next two drafts, the 49ers drafted future starting tackle Colton McKivitz and in 2021, took in future playoff star cornerback Deommodore Lenoir and an eventual 2022 Pro Bowl safety in Talanoa Hufanga.

Luter and fellow fifth-rounder Robert Beal are officially locked in with their contracts. Luter already has a ringing endorsement from Peters and Wilks. The new $4 million defensive back is now being hailed as one of the next fifth-rounders for the league to keep an eye on.

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