Nick Bosa Is Now The Highest-Paid Defensive Player In NFL History

Nick Bosa ended last season in disappointment. His San Francisco 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia 76ers, only to watch as Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson — the team’s third and fourth-string quarterbacks entering the season — both left the game due to injuries. Suddenly, the Niners were facing an uphill climb without a healthy quarterback under center.

The 49ers lost 31-7 in a game that felt like even more of a blowout. Bosa, like the rest of his teammates, probably spent a good portion of the offseason lamenting what could have been.

Bosa will be entering this season in much better spirits. He just signed the largest contract for a non-quarterback in NFL history.

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Bosa and the 49ers agreed to a five-year, $170 million deal, which includes $122.5 million in guaranteed money. Both are the highest for any defensive player and non-quarterback.

The contract ends a holdout that lasted for 43 days, leading right up to Week 1 of the NFL season.

Bosa will make $34 million per year, surpassing Aaron Donald’s $31.7 million annual salary. And he’ll get a leg up on his brother, Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers, who signed a contract in 2020 that paid him the most guaranteed money ($102 million) for a defensive player at the time.

It’s a lot of money, but Bosa has lived up to top billing. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and took home Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, as well as being named to his first All-Pro team. In virtually three seasons — he only played two games in 2020 before suffering a torn ACL — he’s reached three Pro Bowls and has racked up 156 tackles, 43 sacks, and eight forced fumbles.

With their defensive anchor back in the mix, the 49ers once again have Super Bowl aspirations. They’ve made it to the NFC Championship game in three of Bosa’s four seasons — coincidentally, all the years he’s been named to the Pro Bowl — and got to the Super Bowl during the 2019 season. But the team hasn’t been able to get over the hump.

If Bosa and the 49ers defense can lead the team to Super Bowl glory, this contract will end up looking like a steal.

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