Nick Bosa megadeal could turn these 49ers into cap casualties

San Francisco 49ers captains George Kittle (85), Nick Bosa (97) and Arik Armstead (91)
San Francisco 49ers captains George Kittle (85), Nick Bosa (97) and Arik Armstead (91) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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The 49ers are paying Nick Bosa record-breaking money over the next five years, which means other top-paid players may become cap casualties.

The exact financial deals behind San Francisco 49ers All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa's massive five-year, $170 million contract extension, news of which was announced on Wednesday, aren't known quite yet.

What we do know, however, was reported by ESPN shortly after the initial breaking news went live, and Bosa will command $122.5 million in guaranteed money, while his average annual value will be at $34 million.

Those numbers surpass Los Angeles Rams perennial All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald's then-record contract, making Bosa the most expensive defensive player in NFL history.

For a Niners team that was already dealing with salary cap concerns after extending plenty of top-dollar deals to other star players on their roster, absorbing Bosa's contract is ultimately going to be a challenge.

According to Over the Cap, and prior to Bosa's new extension being listed, San Francisco has just $227,392 in cap space right now. The team will create more room in various ways, yes, but the 49ers are projected to be over the cap by $1.105 million in 2024.

And that's without Bosa's new contract added on.

There are means to work around this, including extensions and restructures to other players elsewhere on the roster.

However, Bosa's new deal could ultimately turn these five Niners players into cap casualties in the not-so-distant future.

Note: All contractual and cap info, courtesy of Over the Cap unless otherwise indicated.

No. 5: 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward

2024 cap hit: $17.9 million

San Francisco has long prioritized its defensive line and linebackers over members within its secondary, and the cornerback position has often been a neglected spot, too.

Charvarius Ward was supposed to help rectify this, which he did during the first year of his three-year free-agent deal with the 49ers back in 2022. And his cap hit for this year is a modest and affordable $6.42 million.

That number jumps up to $17.9 million in 2024, though, which is his contract year.

The Niners already added void years onto his deal to help spread out the cap hit, but if they were to execute a post-June 1 release of Ward in 2024, they'd save $13 million against $4.9 million in dead money, which they'll pay again and again in 2025 and 2026 anyway as part of those voided years.

Either way, there's a better-than-average chance Ward doesn't see the final year of his contract with San Francisco, particularly after June of 2024.