Nick Bosa, 49ers ‘Trying to Bridge’ $4 Million Salary Gap: Report

Nick Bosa (right) and GM John Lynch of the 49ers

Getty Nick Bosa (right) and GM John Lynch of the 49ers

Most teams hope for a little peace and quiet in the serene space between cut-down day—the official end of training camp—and the start of the season ahead of Week 1. The Niners have not quite been able to get that, mostly because of the still-going contract holdout by star defensive lineman Nick Bosa, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Bosa is scheduled to earn $17.9 million this season, and he wants more. The 49ers agree he should get more, and that, at least, is a positive as we career toward the season’s start. But the problem is, Bosa wants a megadeal, something that puts him in the ballpark of the NFL’s highest-paid defender, Aaron Donald of the Rams.

Donald signed a three-year, $95 million contract restructure last summer.

The 49ers are willing to go into that territory, but how far? At this point, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports, the question for the two sides is whether Bosa tops Donald’s contract or the contract of edge rusher T.J. Watt, who is slated to make $28 million next season. It’s a gap of less than $4 million but, Breer wrote, Bosa, “isn’t going anywhere for a long time.”

Bosa Will Be Top Edge Rusher

According to Breer, Bosa will pass Watt as the highest paid edge rusher, which would put his starting salary at least at $28,000,001. But, we can assume, the 49ers do not want to make him the highest-paid defensive player, for which his salary would have to be just over $31.67 million:

The question is whether he’s going to be the highest-paid nonquarterback of all time—he’ll be the highest-paid edge rusher. The difference between the two distinctions is less than $4 million per year, and the Niners and Bosa’s people have been trying to bridge that gap for a while now. They have an artificial deadline coming (the start of the season), and at some point something almost has to get done. It’s when, not if.

A difference of $4 million (or, in this case, $3.7 million) is nothing to shake a stick at, but when considering the kind of numbers Bosa figures to be hitting, it is not that big an obstacle—a bit more than a 10% difference from Watt to Donald.

Lynch Says Sides Still Communicating

That’s one reason why, even as most have grown weary of the Bosa Chronicles, the two sides have mostly remained optimistic. GM John Lynch made clear this week that the team would not be trading Bosa, even if the holdout lasted into the season. This is a player who has been in the Pro Bowl in all three NFL seasons in which he has been healthy, and logged 22.5 sacks last year.

He also told radio station KNBR in San Francisco that he is keeping in regular touch with Bosa’s camp.

“As this thing gets closer, sure, that becomes more present because people will talk about it more,” Lynch said via “But there’s no updates there. What I’ll tell you is that the communication is ongoing, it’s good, it’s healthy, and we’re working to try to get something done. I don’t have any more updates other than that.”



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