Nick Bosa's contract situation was the focal point when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday with the San Francisco 49ers entering the offseason after Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. The All-Pro defensive end was asked specifically if becoming the NFL's highest-paid defensive player was a goal. "Not necessarily. We'll just see where it goes," Bosa said.
Bosa, who is scheduled to make a fully guaranteed $17.859 million in 2023 on a fifth-year option, led the NFL with a career-high 18.5 sacks this season. He has already been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. The 2019 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is the leading candidate for the more widely recognized Associated Press version of the award.
Bosa, however, isn't anxious for a new deal. "I'm definitely going to have patience and probably not worry about it for some time," he said. "I have an amazing agent who will handle all that."
49ers general manager John Lynch also preached patience when discussing a potential Bosa contract extension in his season-ending press conference on Wednesday. He expressed optimism about getting a deal done because of the 49ers' track record with other core players and was complimentary toward Bosa's agent.
Bosa is represented by WME Sports' Brian Ayrault, who is a shrewd negotiator. He also represents Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa, who is Nick's older brother. Ayrault put the older Bosa at the top of the non-quarterback pay scale in 2020 with a five-year, $135 million contract extension averaging $27 million per year. The $102 million in overall guarantees and $78 million fully guaranteed at signing were both the most ever in an NFL contract for a non-quarterback.
Resetting the non-quarterback market
Left to his own devices, Ayrault is going to drive an extremely hard bargain. Ayrault will surely be looking to reset the non-quarterback market in any deal unless otherwise directed by Bosa where the 49ers get some sort of financial break. The following financial benchmarks of key contract metrics should be relevant in negotiations:
Average yearly salary: $31,666,667 (Aaron Donald, Rams)
Overall contract guarantees: $102 million (Joey Bosa, Chargers)
Fully guaranteed at signing: $80 mllion (T.J. Watt, Steelers)
Signing bonus: $40 million (Donald)
Three-year cash flow: $95 million (Donald)
First three new years: $95 million (Donald)