The San Francisco 49ers haven’t had much to celebrate over the past couple of seasons, especially coming off a 5-11 2015 campaign. The franchise has regressed since letting former head coach Jim Harbaugh depart for his alma mater, Michigan.
On Wednesday evening , that notion certainly changed.
Adam Schefter reported that the 49ers and star linebacker NaVorro Bowman agreed to a four-year extension. What makes this deal even more impressive for both parties is that Bowman had three years remaining on his previous contract.
So 49ers’ LB Navorro Bowman gets 4-year, $44 million extension with 3 years left on his deal. This will get attention of teams and players.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2016
Bowman’s annual salary will practically double over the next two seasons and he will be paid $11 million each year for the next seven years. $20 million is said to be guaranteed. He became the first client of Drew Rosenhaus to sign an extension with three years remaining on a deal.
San Francisco is still in the midst of a rebuild mode under new head coach Chip Kelly and Bowman is definitely a player you build a football team around.
After missing the entire 2014 season, due to a tear of his ACL and MCL suffered in the NFC Championship game in 2013 against the Seattle Seahawks, Bowman bounced back in a big way.
He led the league in tackles in his return season. He was named to the first team All-Pro team for a fourth time in his five healthy seasons. He also contributed 2.5 sacks and played in all 16 games. This all came after many questioned his health. Not only is Bowman a four-time, first team All-Pro, but he is a three-time Pro Bowler as well. In his six-year career, which he has only played in five, he has accumulated 636 tackles and 11.5 sacks. Outside of his rookie season, he has made at least 143 tackles per season.
NaVorro also has 24 pass deflections and three interceptions, including an interception that led to the final touchdown ever scored in historic Candlestick Park. Bowman picked off Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and returned it 89 yards to the house with just over a minute remaining on the clock.
The 49ers decided to make NaVorro Bowman a centerpiece of not only the defense but the team as a whole and did just that with this extension. As long as Bowman is on the field, he will make play after play. For a team that has money left to spend after an uneventful free agent period, locking up the best player on their roster and one of the top linebackers in the league was a no brainer.
Now the 49ers have some other things to figure out ahead of the September 12 season opener against the divisional rival Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, such as finding out who the starting quarterback will be. However, they enter Week 1 knowing that Bowman is captain of their defense and the cornerstone of their franchise.
We caught up with Bowman earlier this summer at his annual camp in the DMV, he talked about this upcoming season midway through the interview below: