SANTA CLARA – Now that Dibo Samuel’s contract has been extended, Nick Bosa heads up the queue and patiently waits his turn.
That time probably won’t come until next year, as general manager John Lynch suggested last week, while invoking the 49ers’ homegrown history of expansion.
“I am very confident that when the time comes, it will be smooth,” Bosa said in an exclusive interview with this news organization after Monday’s practice. (The full question-and-answer session will be featured in the upcoming Season-Preview magazine.)
While Samuel was entering the final year of his rookie contract before Monday’s top-of-the-market deal (three years, $73.5 million), Bossa remains in control of the 49ers for two more seasons, his fifth year for them. 2023 by exercising the option of; This is a perk the team can only use on first-round picks.
Homegrown stars George Kittel, Fred Warner and now Samuel have received extensions in successive years as Bossa rose to No. 2 overall in 2019, when he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors on his way to the Super Bowl.
“I definitely got lucky. I could have been somewhere else,” Bossa said of landing with the 49ers. “I’m just happy, because this organization is so great. They give you all the resources you need.
“They listen to my input. Obviously, you have to get some respect in the building before you can give input, but I have a great relationship with (coach) Kyle (Shanahan) and John, so it’s all good.
Bossa started every game last season and collected a total of 15 1/2 sacks in the playoffs, plus four more sacks. It proved not only how well he came back from the 2020 knee reconstruction, but how well he deserves a pay raise among the NFL’s elite defensive ends.
Since the arrival of Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan in 2017, the 49ers have taken care of their homegrown talent, have re-signed elite free agents such as Trent Williams, Kyle Juszcic, and Robbie Gould, and have created their own stalwarts. Like Jimmy Ward and Eric Armstead.
As knowledgeable in maintaining a championship-caliber roster as the 49ers, such deals aren’t easy to broker, and Bossa knows this as saying: “I know it’s Parag (Marathas, 49ers). ) is one of the hardest conversations with units.
Lynch and Shanahan are adamant that bossa is a fundamental asset they are determined to maintain for many years, even if at a record-setting price, which would mean in the range of $30 million per year. TJ Watts of the Pittsburgh Steelers reset the defensive end market last year with a deal (four years, $112 million) that surpasses the 2020 extension (five years, $135 million), which was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers. Awarded to Nick’s elder brother Joy Bossa.
Perhaps the 49ers’ ignition point for the Bossa deal comes when they remove Jimmy Garoppolo and his $24 million salary from the payroll, though a back-loaded deal is still financially feasible.
“If you look at our history, our synergies, you know most of our deals are done with one year left on the contract,” Lynch said on Tuesday. “Nick has two years left and so it’s not impossible, but it’s more likely that this is something that will be addressed next year.
“No absolutes, you never say never, but here’s what I do know: As long as we’re here, Nick Bossa is going to be a part of the Niners and he’ll be paid handsomely for doing so. So his time has come.” And when he comes, he will get what he deserves because man, what a special player.”
As Bossa looks “completely healthy, ready to go”, Shanahan glows when the camp opens.
“Have you seen him? It’s like someone literally engraved him. He’s like a sculpture,” Williams said. “You can’t do that just by waking up, eating cereal and playing sports. … The secret isn’t why he’s as good as he is. Obviously there’s talent, but work ethic outweighs talent.”
Bossa faced Williams in a few plays on Monday, one of which was a Trey Lance touchdown pass to Brendan Ayuk when Williams put Bossa on the perimeter.
“Trent kind of gets on my nerves how cool he is. No, I love him. He’s the best,” Bossa said. “It definitely humbles you.”
Another interesting scene later came into play. Bossa and Williams posed for a few pictures with each other and shared technique tips.
“To me, it’s a double-edged sword,” Williams said. “If Bossa asks a question, he wants to know something else. The ‘competitive me’ is hesitant to give him some of my secret tricks. At the end of the day, we’re here to make each other better. And that’s it. We are very transparent and its been the day since I came at the door.
The 49ers’ front office prepared itself for a wave of contract extensions, as Shanahan noted Monday, plotting a quarterback switch to shift his financial liabilities.
“We knew where we were at quarterbacks and we knew that this is something that can help us a lot in solving some of these problems, who have played well and who deserve to be paid that much,” Shanahan said. “And we still have more people. We have a lot of people on our team that we don’t want to lose, so hopefully we continue to work on that stuff.”
More than 40 players entering the final year under contract include: free safety Jimmy Ward, right tackle Mike McGlinchy, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, kicker Robbie Gould, offensive linemen Daniel Brunskill and Jake Brendel, defensive end Samson Abukum, and linebackers Dre Greenlaw and Aziz Al-Shayer.
More of Bossa’s exclusive interview will appear in Bay Area News Group’s NFL Preview magazine which will be published next month.