Supply – 49ers’ Nick Bosa is highest-paid defensive participant

  • Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff WriterSep 6, 2023, 03:51 PM ET


      Nick Wagoner is an NFL reporter at ESPN. Nick has covered the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL at ESPN since 2016, having previously covered the St. Louis Rams for 12 years, including three years (2013 to 2015) at ESPN. In his 10 years with the company, Nick has led ESPN’s coverage of the Niners’ 2019 Super Bowl run, Colin Kaepernick’s protest, the Rams making Michael Sam the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, Sam’s subsequent pursuit of a roster spot and the team’s relocation and stadium saga. You can follow Nick via Twitter @nwagoner

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers and defensive end Nick Bosa have agreed to a five-year, $170 million extension that will make him the highest-paid defensive player in history, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

The extension includes $122.5 million guaranteed, the source told ESPN.

Among defensive players, the $34 million annual payout surpasses the $31.7 million average belonging to Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the $122.5 million in guarantees easily surpasses the $102 million mark set by Bosa’s brother, Joey, with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020.

It also comes before the Sept. 10 regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, meaning Nick Bosa could be available for that game.

That the Niners and Bosa eventually struck a deal is no surprise. That it took 43 days after the team opened training camp was.

San Francisco has made a habit of re-signing some of its big-name players either just before camp or soon after it opens. It followed a similar blueprint with tight end George Kittle in 2020, linebacker Fred Warner in 2021 and receiver Deebo Samuel in 2022.

However, Bosa’s deal, the largest of that group, proved more complicated.

Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch never expressed any doubt that a deal would get done and were adamant that trading Bosa was never an option.

For his part, Bosa, who generally prefers to do his offseason work with brother Joey in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, showed up at the team’s June minicamp and reiterated his belief that his payday would come as long as he remained patient.

“I think I’ll get what I deserve,” Bosa said June 6.

Clearly, it took a bit longer than even Bosa, 25, was expecting, but the Niners now have the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year under contract.

In 2022, Bosa posted his best season, earning his first All-Pro nod and a third Pro Bowl berth for his league-leading 18.5 sacks, 51 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 58 quarterback pressures (third in the NFL). That dominant performance came two years after he had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 2 of the 2020 season.

But that injury is well in Bosa’s past, as he has posted a combined 34 sacks over the past two seasons.

The new contract also gives Nick a little bit of family bragging rights as he surpassed the five-year, $135 million deal between Joey and the Chargers.

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