Kurtenbach: The 49ers can afford to pay Nick Bosa, and there’s (still) no good excuse why they haven’t

San Francisco 49ers: Paying Nick Bosa is purely an issue of desire for the 49ers.

Dee Ford is still being paid by the 49ers.

They can afford to pay Nick Bosa.

Trey Lance, who was traded last month, is still being paid by the 49ers.

They can afford to pay Nick Bosa.

Jimmie Ward, who now plays for the Texans, is still being paid by the 49ers.

They can afford to pay Nick Bosa.

Trey Sermon is still being paid by the 49ers.

Okay, you get it.

The 49ers’ question isn’t whether they can afford to pay Nick Bosa, but rather whether they want to pay the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year what he wants.

That would make him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player, surpassing Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Niners did not appear to be interested in exceeding the $31.7 million per season cap.

Which is odd given that they’re paying Ford, Lance, Ward, and Sermon a total of $23.76 million against this season’s salary cap, according to OverTheCap.com.

This team is not concerned with money.

Nonetheless, the narrative persists that Bosa’s request is not “team-friendly.”

Sure, it’s not owner-friendly. Jed, cut that check.

However, the notion that money in the NFL is a zero-sum game is absurd.

The 49ers are in a tight salary cap situation for the next two seasons, regardless of what happens with Bosa.

Indeed, the more money Bosa earns on his next contract, the more money the Niners will have to pay the rest of the roster.

Counterintuitive? Sure. That, however, is the NFL salary cap for you. If the Niners sign Bosa to a new contract, the team will almost certainly need to restructure and extend existing contracts in order to create salary cap space for the next few seasons. Players like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Javon Hargrave, and Charvarius Ward will receive more money (and possibly even more money up front).

To me, this appears to be a “team-friendly” situation.

Furthermore, the Niners can structure the Bosa deal so that by the time big money kicks in, the Niners will be able to sunset big deals from likely declining veterans, such as George Kittle and Arik Armstead.

The Niners getting rid of top veterans may seem absurd today, but wait a few seasons. The NFL is a brutal and volatile league.

And Nick Bosa will be 28 when the season begins in 2025. That should be Bosa in his prime, as top pass rushers typically don’t fade until they’re 32 or 33 years old. If the Niners choose to buy out all of Bosa’s prime years (a win for both the team and the player), they can avoid back-loading the contract and instead choose to middle-load it.

Furthermore, while the Niners have expensive players, the team’s starting quarterback is set to earn $3 million over the next three seasons. Lance is the team’s most expensive quarterback. Yes, it is still the case. These are the years to invest in.

With an NFL salary cap that has more holes than an Oakland street, all of the hand-wringing and justifications for paying Bosa come across as vacuous or downright biased.

Who is worth the largest contract for a defender in NFL history if not Bosa?

And, if the 49ers can’t afford to sign Bosa, how come they signed Hargrave to a four-year, $81 million contract this offseason? Why did they invest in a second-tier English soccer team this summer?

The time for posturing and making excuses has long passed. Threats have been dismissed, and leverage has been identified.

On Sunday, the team has a game. A genuine one. Against a strong opponent. However, the Niners appear set to start the season without their best player because they can’t reach an agreement on a deal that should have been completed in March.

That is the responsibility of the team. It’s humiliating. And no amount of bootlicking or astroturfing is going to change that.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply