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Nick Bosa contract holdout, explained: Why 49ers star is skipping training camp without long-term deal

If you were expecting a full house when 49ers camp opened on Tuesday — prepare to be disappointed. 

Avoiding the drama was supposed to be key for San Francisco in 2023 after a season that was filled with controversy and a quarterback carousel. Despite all of that, the Niners were still a game away from playing in the Super Bowl.

But drama has found them once again. 

As 49ers GM John Lynch confirmed on Tuesday, Nick Bosa will remain away from the team, as long as a new lucrative long-term deal stays away from him. If and when the sides agree to an extension, Bosa will report to camp. 

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The news of a holdout came as it was reported that quarterback Brock Purdy was cleared for training camp without restrictions. Regardless, the attention is now on making sure that Bosa will be on the edge for San Francisco’s top ranked defense — getting after opposing quarterbacks when the season kicks off in September.

For now, one of the league’s best players on the edge is looking for a contract that matches his level of impact. 

MORE: First look at Madden 24 EDGE rusher ratings

Nick Bosa contract details

For the most part, the 25-year-old Bosa has remained fairly quiet on the contract front while racking up the accolades. Outside of missing most of the 2020 season with a torn-ACL, Bosa has been a model of consistency for the Niners’ defense. 

In the three other seasons, he’s played in 49 of a possible 50 regular season games while adding in awards for Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Bosa has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times and named first-team All-Pro once. 

In 2022, he led the NFL in sacks with 18.5 and finished sixth in MVP voting. 

The list of accomplishments go on and on, but the contract — to this point — has remained the same. Drafted at No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bosa has played on his rookie contract and is yet to receive an extension. Now it appears No. 97 won’t be taking the field without one. 

Here’s how Bosa’s contract has broken down by year since entering the league. Absent an extension, if he does play, it will be on a fifth-year option.

Year Age Base salary Guaranteed salary Cap number
2019 22 $495,000 $495,000 $6,100,339
2020 23 $675,000 $2,020,085 $7,715,424
2021 24 $780,000 $3,545,170 $9,255,509
2022 25 $895,000 $5,070,225 $10,805,594
2023 26 $17,859,000 $17,859,000 $17,859,000

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Highest-paid NFL EDGE rushers in 2023

Bosa’s rookie contract slots him in at No. 32 on the list, but thanks to the fifth-year option, he will earn $17,859,000 in 2023 — which would put him just behind Von Miller on the highest paid list. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, they’ll likely go down the franchise tag path that has drawn the ire of many players across the league. 

Once an agreement is reached on an extension for Bosa, he’ll likely catapult up the list and take the top spot from T.J. Watt — or at least earn a number comparable to what his brother, Joey, received from the Chargers. 

According to Over The Cap, this is how the top-10 breaks down for EDGE rushers in terms of AAV. 

Player Team Total Value Total Guarantees AAV
1. T.J. Watt Steelers $112,011,000 $80,000,000 $28,002,750
2. Joey Bosa Chargers $135,000,000 $102,000,000 $27,000,000
3. Myles Garrett Browns $125,000,000 $100,000,000 $25,000,000
T-4. Maxx Crosby Raiders $94,000,000 $53,000,000 $23,500,000
T-4. Khalil Mack Chargers $141,000,000 $90,000,000 $23,500,000
6. Bradley Chubb Dolphins $110,000,000 $63,212,444 $22,000,000
7. Von Miller Bills $120,000,000 $51,435,000 $20,000,000
T-8. Harold Landry Titans $87,500,000 $52,500,000 $17,500,000
T-8. Cameron Jordan Saints $52,500,000 $42,735,000 $17,500,000
10. Chandler Jones Raiders $51,000,000 $32,000,000 $17,000,000
32. Nick Bosa 49ers $33,551,866 $33,551,866 $8,387,967

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