The 49ers are preparing themselves to open up the checkbook for Nick Bosa, and his payday could wholly reset the market for defensive players.
Compared to the rest of us plebians, San Francisco 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa is already a very wealthy individual.
But he’s about to become exceptionally more wealthy in the not-so-distant future.
Bosa, the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year and the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, was eligible for a contract extension last offseason. As general manager John Lynch pointed out in July of 2022 at the time when talk of a would-be extension began to surface, the Niners have traditionally waited until one year was left on a star player’s deal before beginning those conversations.
With Bosa now hitting his fully guaranteed fifth-year option, worth $17.86 million, according to Over the Cap, one would figure Lynch and the front office would look to get a deal done.
And it’s possible that makes Bosa the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.
Or will it?
Is Nick Bosa trying to be the highest-paid non-quarterback ever?
Bosa was asked about his impending contract discussions recently, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN, and the All-Pro pass-rusher was pretty calm about getting something done:
"I’m definitely gonna have patience and probably not worry about it for some time. I have an amazing agent who will handle all that, and I’ll just enjoy my time off and get ready to roll next year."
As Wagoner pointed out, it’s not a bad approach. San Francisco has taken care of its star players, financially, and big-name talents like tight end George Kittle, linebacker Fred Warner and even wide receiver Deebo Samuel received their extensions in due time.
Although Samuel’s was clouded by an offseason trade request that required some tricky navigation.
None of those players received a Defensive (or Offensive) Player of the Year accolade, though.
So, should Bosa want to be a record-setting defender when it comes to contracts?
“Not necessarily,” Bosa responded. “Just see where it goes.”
What will Nick Bosa earn on new contract extension with 49ers?
Bosa is represented by Brian Ayrault, who also represents the elder Bosa brother with the Los Angeles Chargers, EDGE Joey Bosa.
That Bosa received a five-year extension worth up to $135 million back in 2020, and his annual average value of $27 million still ranks third among all defensive players.
In other terms, the older Bosa received a lot of money.
At the time, the Chargers’ pass-rusher reset the market. Since then, however, Pittsburgh Steelers EDGE T.J. Watt has leapfrogged Bosa with an annual value of $28 million, while Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is currently the most-paid defender at an average of $31.67 per year.
Donald, of course, has quite the résumé and has earned multiple Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Perhaps that’ll be something the 49ers counter back at with Nick Bosa and his agent. But, even in light of Bosa’s “just see where it goes” comments, the floor won’t be anything less than $30 million a year.
Simply put, the Niners probably need to open up discussions at that amount and hope that Ayrault doesn’t ask for a hefty amount well above it.
Even if he did, Bosa is the kind of player who’s worth it.