San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - The San Francisco 49ers designated linebacker Julian Peterson as the franchise player and agreed to terms with running back Kevan Barlow on a five-year contract extension Monday.
Barlow rushed for 1,024 yards and six touchdowns on 201 carries last season while starting four games. The fourth-year running back also added 307 yards receiving and one score on 35 receptions.
"We certainly see him as an integral part of our future. He is a young, ascending player and will be an extremely productive player of the next five years," Donahue said. "We see him as integral to the core of young players we want to keep to lead us to a world’s championship."
Barlow was scheduled to be an restricted free agent this season. Terms of the contract were not released, but reports have the deal worth $20 million, including a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $6.5 million option.
Peterson's deal will be worth between $5.8 million and $7.2 million, depending upon what turns out to be the average salary of the NFL's top five linebackers after various contracts are restructured.
"We made that decision over a long period of time trying to negotiate with his agents," Donahue said. "We feel like we've made him a very competitive offer that puts him in a linebacker category with Brian Urlacher, Derrick Brooks and LeVar Arrington...We're very hopeful that we can get a long term deal done and we'll keep working towards that."
Peterson, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, tallied 95 tackles and seven sacks last season.