After a long and tense contract dispute, the San Francisco 49ers and star defensive end Nick Bosa have finally reached an agreement on a massive extension that will keep him in the Bay Area for the foreseeable future. Bosa signed a six-year, $170 million deal with the 49ers on Thursday, ending his holdout and making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
The deal includes $102 million guaranteed at signing, $125 million in total guarantees, and a $30 million signing bonus. Bosa will also receive annual roster bonuses and incentives based on sacks, Pro Bowls, and All-Pro selections. Bosa’s average annual salary of $28.3 million surpasses the previous record of $27 million set by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, who is Nick’s older brother.
Bosa, 25, was entering the final year of his rookie contract that was set to pay him $13.7 million in 2023. He had been holding out from the team’s training camp and preseason games, seeking a long-term deal that would reflect his value as one of the best pass rushers in the league. Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks last season, earning him the Defensive Player of the Year award and his third Pro Bowl nod. He also helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
49ers express relief and excitement over Bosa’s return
The 49ers were adamant that they wanted to keep Bosa as a cornerstone of their defense and were confident that a deal would get done before the start of the regular season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch both expressed their happiness and relief over Bosa’s return during a press conference on Thursday.
“We’re thrilled to have Nick back with us,” Shanahan said. “He’s a special player and a special person. He’s been working hard on his own and we can’t wait to see him on the field again.”
Lynch echoed Shanahan’s sentiments and praised Bosa’s agent, Brian Ayrault, for his professionalism and cooperation during the negotiations.
“It was a long process, but we never doubted that we would get it done,” Lynch said. “Brian did a great job of representing Nick’s interests and finding common ground with us. We’re very happy for Nick and his family. He deserves every penny of this contract.”
Bosa also spoke to the media after signing his extension and thanked the 49ers organization for their faith and support.
“I’m very grateful to the 49ers for making this happen,” Bosa said. “They’ve been great to me since I got here and I love playing for this team and this city. I’m excited to be here for a long time and to continue to chase championships with my teammates.”
Bosa brings boost of confidence and levity to 49ers locker room
Bosa’s teammates were also ecstatic to see him back in the locker room and on the practice field. Several players took to social media to congratulate him on his new deal and welcome him back to the fold.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo posted a photo of him and Bosa hugging on Instagram with the caption: “My guy is back! Congrats bro, you earned it!”
Linebacker Fred Warner tweeted: “The GOAT is back! Let’s goooooo!”
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel wrote: “Nick Bosa is back! Best news ever!”
Bosa also received some playful ribbing from his fellow defensive linemen, who jokingly asked him to pay for their meals and vacations.
Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw said: “Hey Nick, can I borrow some money?”
Defensive end Arik Armstead said: “Hey Nick, can you buy me a house?”
Defensive end Dee Ford said: “Hey Nick, can you take me to Hawaii?”
Bosa laughed off their teasing and said he was happy to be reunited with his friends.
“It feels great to be back with my brothers,” Bosa said. “They’re like family to me. They’ve been supportive of me throughout this whole thing and I appreciate them. They’re also very funny. They keep me humble.”
Bosa is expected to play in the 49ers’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10 at Heinz Field. He said he is ready to resume his dominant form and help the 49ers contend for another Super Bowl title.
“I’m in great shape and I’m hungry,” Bosa said. “I can’t wait to get after it.”