Aaron Donald signed a big-time deal. Is Nick Bosa next NFL defender primed for a payday?
Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald made history Monday when he received a restructured contract paying him $95 million over the next three seasons.
The deal makes Donald the highest-paid, non-quarterback player in NFL history.
Like the wave of massive wide receiver contracts earlier in the offseason, Donald's blockbuster contract could have a ripple effect.
And San Francisco 49ers fans think defensive force Nick Bosa should be next in line for a big payday.
The 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year recorded 19.5 sacks last year between the regular season and playoffs, where the 49ers marched to the NFC title game against Donald and the Rams. During the regular season, Bosa completed 15.5 sacks with 52 tackles and 21 tackles for a loss, tied for highest in the league — all while bouncing back from an ACL injury that sidelined him for most of 2020.
Bosa, 24, is seven years younger than Donald, so expected to be in the league for years to come.
While waiting for his new contract, Donald said he'd be "at peace" if he didn't work out a deal and retired. Niners podcast host Sterling Bennett joked that Bosa should take a page from the Super Bowl champion's playbook, saying, "If Bosa was smart, he’d say 'I’m retiring,' until San Francisco pays him."
Bosa's brother, Joey, recently signed a solid contract of his own. The Los Angeles Chargers linebacker inked a five-year, $135 million extension in 2020. The $102 million guaranteed set a new NFL record. Joey Bosa's $27 million annual income is now third-highest among defenders in the league, behind Donald and Pittsburgh Steelers' T.J. Watt, who signed a five-year extension in September with $28 million in average salary.
The 49ers picked up Bosa's fifth-year option in April, keeping him on the team through 2023. It gave him a guaranteed $17.8 million in two seasons. But is that enough?
Niners fans took to Twitter to respond: