Nick Bosa all but guaranteed himself a monster contract extension with his 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year campaign this season, if it already wasn't a sure thing.
And while negotiations between the All-Pro pass rusher and the 49ers could end with Bosa becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the league, former Jets and Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum explained Friday how that number will continue to grow the longer San Francisco waits.
"... It's only going to get more expensive," Tannenbaum told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan in a "49ers Talk" interview at Super Bowl Radio Row in Phoenix. "And [Bosa's] not going anywhere, and he knows that. They don't have to remind him of that, but [if he] plays the fifth year, they can always [franchise tag] him.
"They have 34 regular-season games to figure it out, which is a long time. But because the [salary cap's] going up, we're coming out of the pandemic, revenues are sort of getting normalized, I think you're much better off getting it done sooner than later."
Rather than extend Bosa last summer, as the 49ers did with wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the team exercised the fifth-year option on his four-year rookie contract. As Tannenbaum stated, Bosa could play out the fifth year on his contract and even have a sixth season under a franchise tag, which is expected to cost $24.5 million for defensive ends by 2024, per Over the Cap.
Of course, it's likely neither the 49ers nor Bosa want to see things reach that point, and San Francisco has a great track record of doing extensions in a timely manner. There was some drama last offseason with Samuel, but he ultimately signed a handsome extension before the end of training camp, similar to past deals with stars George Kittle and Fred Warner.
"I think where [49ers coach Kyle Shanahan] and [general manager John Lynch] have done a great job, though, is they really haven't lost anybody that they couldn't get done," Tannenbaum said. "When you stack up those wins from a front-office standpoint, it gives you some credibility in the locker room.
"Now, that doesn't mean there won't be some bumps in the road, because we're talking about a massive amount of money. But Nick Bosa is a guy that needs to retire a 49er, so they're going to get that done. It's just going to be how painful is the process."
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After an eventful offseason last year, the 49ers Faithful certainly hope Bosa's extension talks are pain free. And while all sides might feel the same way, these things often are easier said than done.