49ers have an insane bargain with Nick Bosa… for now

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

When looking at the NFL’s bargain contracts, 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa is right atop the list entering 2022, but things won’t stay that way for long.

A generational talent and one of the best players in the NFL right now is going to cost the San Francisco 49ers just over $10.8 million in 2022.

That’s what two-time Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa, who should have been a first-team All-Pro last season, will gain in the fourth year of his rookie contract signed after the Niners selected him at No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

While that amount seems unattainable to the rest of us plebians, it’s nevertheless a bargain for top NFL talent.

Especially according to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin, who recently listed Bosa as one of the league’s biggest underpaid stars entering the upcoming season:

"Even with a pricier fifth-year option ($17.9M) on the way in 2023, Bosa is a prime candidate for a mega-extension in line with the record deal T.J. Watt got from the Steelers. Injuries have failed to erase his impact on San Francisco’s title-contending front, and he’s certainly in Watt’s class as one of the NFL’s best young relentless edge rushers."

Let’s sit on that fifth-year option for a second. Instead, let’s look at the top five edge rushers, in terms of yearly salary, entering 2022:

  1. T.J. Watt (Steelers): $28 million APY
  2. Joey Bosa (Chargers): $27 million APY
  3. Myles Garrett (Browns): $25 million APY
  4. Khalil Mack (Chargers): $23.5 million APY
  5. Maxx Crosby (Raiders): $23.5 million APY

Mind you, even in terms of what Nick Bosa is scheduled to make on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option in 2023, that $17.9 million is still a comparative bargain when stacked up against the rest.

All for a player who registered 15.5 sacks and a league-leading 21 tackles for a loss last season after coming back from a torn ACL suffered in 2020.

What sets apart Nick Bosa from 49ers’ dealings with Deebo Samuel

Bosa’s impending contract extension won’t come cheap. Like, potentially the most-money-awarded-to-a-defensive-player kind of not cheap.

Yet San Francisco’s biggest contractual offseason storyline has been that of All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who is eligible for an extension this year but previously requested a trade request in light of contract discussions.

Samuel returning for the 49ers’ mandatory minicamp sessions earlier this month, at least being at the facility, is a sign things are progressing towards a new deal, but there’s still likely a lot of work left to be done.

One of the differences to note between Samuel and Bosa, though, is the Niners didn’t have that fifth-year option with the former, Samuel being a Round 2 draft pick and fifth-year options only qualifying for first-round selections.

Related Story: How much will it cost to extend Deebo Samuel?

Granted, San Francisco still has the option of applying the ever-unpopular franchise tag on Samuel once his current deal expires after this season, but the smart play is likely getting ahead of the market.

The 49ers could feasibly get ahead of the market on Bosa, too, yet that fifth-year option affords them time to at least reevaluate.

If Bosa explodes in 2022 as many think he will, however, it might prove to be a costly decision from the Niners’ vantage point.

Next. 49ers' 15 best first-round NFL Draft picks of all time. dark