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Evaluating Nick Bosa's First Four Seasons with the 49ers

If the first four years of defensive lineman Nick Bosa's career are any indication of what is to come in his second contract with the San Francisco 49ers, the red and gold's pass rush is secure for the foreseeable future. The reigning AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year put pen to paper on a five-year contract extension on Friday morning that will keep him in The Bay through the 2028 season and make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.

"He's a fantastic football player, he's a game-changer," general manager John Lynch said at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan echoed those sentiments upon hearing Bosa had agreed to terms with San Francisco.

"We all knew Nick was going to get rewarded like he did," Shanahan said. "I'm just glad we got it worked on everyone's side. We love Nick. I think he loves being here, and he's definitely earned it. He's going to earn it going forward too."

The extension satisfies the wants of both sides. Prior to leaving for the offseason, Bosa voiced his desire to stay in The Bay long term.

"I'd love to be here," Bosa said back in early February. "They treat me as good as you can, and I have amazing relationships here."

Over the course of the last four years, Bosa has anchored San Francisco's defensive front, and in 2022, he helped the unit close out the regular season as the NFL's No. 1 overall defense. San Francisco's top-ranked defense also led the league in interceptions (20), scoring defense (16.3 points per game) and big play defense.

Bosa's own stat line from last season is just as impressive as the unit's numbers. In his 16 regular season starts, the defensive lineman led the NFL with 18.5 sacks (second-most in franchise history) and 49 quarterback hits. He also accounted for 51 total tackles (41 solo), 19 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a pass defended, ultimately earning him Defensive Player of the Year and Pro Bowl honors.

His career has been on an upward trajectory from the start. After being selected second-overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bosa put together a debut season worthy of AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and his first Pro Bowl nod. In his nine regular season starts, he amassed nine regular-season sacks, 47 tackles, two passes defended and an interception.

Bosa summed up exactly the type of player he is the night he was drafted.

"I'm somebody who's itching to get on the field. Somebody who's going to lay everything out on the line," Bosa said. "That's all I know how to do. I'm going to go from whistle to whistle and hopefully get some Ws."

In addition to his elite play, Bosa is also a fan and locker room favorite, and his teammates have not been shy about their respect for the DPOY during his time with the team.

"I'm really glad he's on my team because I don't want to block him," said tight end George Kittle. "It's not very fun to do it in practice but I'd rather do it then than in a game."

"It's a good morale boost to have one of our best players back on the team, players and leaders," All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner said. "I'm ecstatic to have him back."

Former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman spoke to who Bosa is on and off the field.

"He's an incredibly poised player," said former teammate Richard Sherman. "He's everything you could ask for. He plays with such a savviness, such a poise, such an aggression. He's an incredible talent. And he's so humble. He's a humble, nice guy. He comes to work and he wrecks havoc."

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