The San Francisco 49ers are facing one of their most critical offseason periods to date following their run to the NFC championship game.
On one end, there’s addressing the Jimmy Garoppolo situation, which was a topic of discussion on Tuesday, February 1 among general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to the Bay Area media. On another end, there’s the incoming free agency period which launches March 16 — which places the 49ers in a situation where they must decide on who to franchise tag, who to sign and who to let go of.
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But there’s one more considerably important situation involving the 49ers: Locking away the future of the franchise for the long term.
And that’s where All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa and All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel come in.
Lynch Addresses Contract Extension Talks
Lynch let it be known to the reporter representation inside the 49ers’ building at Santa Clara — Bosa and Samuel are “pillars” for the 49ers organization.
With Samuel, he ended up adding new dimensions to the 49er offense by showing his willingness to carry the football and add to the 49ers’ “bully ball” philosophy. He also scored the longest touchdown of the day on the 49ers’ side in the 20-17 NFC title game loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
“All Deebo wants to do is win. And I think his skill set and his will are the things that I marvel at and admire so much,” Lynch said. ‘We’re fortunate to have him.”
Meanwhile, Bosa went from a torn ACL that took him away from the 2020 season to producing a career-best season in a comeback year.
All the more reason why Lynch and the 49ers immediately wants to get extensions done for both, though the general manager admits that there’s no timetable on when the two deals will get done.
“Just to get it out of the way, with he (Samuel) and Nick, we fully understand these guys are pillars of what we’re trying to do here,” Lynch said. “We’ve been blessed that we’ve been aggressive because we’ve had a lot of players that we believe are some of the best in the league at what they do, and these guys are no different.”
How strong is the communication between Lynch, the 49ers and the agents who represent both athletes?
“We have really good lines of communication with their representatives,” Lynch said. “Those will continue. I’m not going to put any timelines on it, but obviously, planning has been done to account for those guys.”
What the 49ers are Facing
As of February 2022, the 49ers are currently facing $5,611,162 in cap space according to Spotrac.
But with 29 free agents set for March, plus the determination in figuring out what to officially do with Garoppolo, they could have a good chance to free up some cap space.
Bosa’s rookie contract is still good until 2024, with a base salary of $895,000 anticipated for 2022 per Spotrac. But with a dominating season like the one he had, it could parlay him to a richer deal if an extension gets done.
Samuel is in a different dynamic. His rookie deal expires in 2023 and with his versatility and explosiveness on the field this past season, he could be due for something far wealthier than the original four-year, $7,247,476 deal he signed as a rookie. And that versatility could add more value to his contract talks, Lynch alluded to.
“Yes, there is some interesting dynamics with Deebo playing multiple positions, but the bottom line (is) he’s an excellent football player,” Lynch added. “And so, I’m sure that we’ll find a way to get that done. And like I said, it’s been budgeted for.”