Report: San Francisco 49ers make Nick Bosa highest-paid defender in NFL history

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Bosa reportedly has become the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, with the San Francisco 49ers defensive end agreeing to a five-year contract extension worth $170 million days before their season opener.

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year had been holding out while seeking a new deal and will now be available for the 49ers’ Week 1 matchup at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The contract has both the highest average annual value and total value for any defensive player, surpassing the average annual value of Aaron Donald’s deal with the Los Angeles Rams. They are followed by Steelers superstar T.J. Watt in terms of average annual value.

Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks last season and has totaled 43 sacks in his 51 career games. The Ohio State University product appeared in only two games in the 2020 season before tearing his ACL and then rebounded in the 2021 campaign with 15.5 sacks.

The 25-year-old was fourth in NFL Network’s rankings of the top 100 players prior to this season, the only defensive player in the top eight.

The No. 1 player on that list, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, has the highest total value contract at $450 million, and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has the highest average annual value at $52.5 million with his recent extension.

Bosa is obviously integral to the 49ers’ hopes for this season as they look to get back to the NFC Championship Game for the fourth time since he was the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, after the Arizona Cardinals selected quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1.

San Francisco reached the Super Bowl in Bosa’s rookie season, losing to the Chiefs. The 49ers did not make the playoffs after he was injured in 2020 but have made the conference title game in his two full seasons since then, losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2021 season and Philadelphia Eagles in the 2022 campaign.

That success makes it clear how valuable Bosa is to the 49ers’ fortunes, and the superstar pass rusher has been rewarded by the franchise. San Francisco is a strong contender to get back to the Super Bowl, and with their top defensive player now back in the fold, maybe it can finally win that elusive championship.

Share This Article
Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.