Nick Bosa‘s holdout is getting increasingly problematic for the San Francisco 49ers. With preseason in the books and the 2023 NFL season kicking off next week, it is imperative that a solution is found that gets the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year back on the field in time to face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.
San Francisco general manager John Lynch has been surprised by the length of the holdout, as Bosa seeks what will likely be the largest contract ever given to a defensive player in NFL history. But in a radio appearance on Thursday, Lynch said conversations are ongoing, and the 49ers are hopeful to have everything in place before the season begins.
Bosa expected to be ready…whenever he returns
Bosa is coming off his best season yet. He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2022 after recording a career-high 18.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. But as he enters the final season of his rookie contract, no extension appears imminent, if you believe 49ers GM Lynch.
“What I’ll tell you is that the communication is ongoing, it’s good, it’s healthy, and we’re working to try to get something done,” he said on the “Murph and Mac” show. “I don’t have any more updates other than that.”
Bosa might have held out of training camp and missed the three-game preseason slate, but the 25-year-old is an athletic freak and has surely been working hard to remain in peak physical condition. San Francisco‘s coaches will certainly hope that when the four-year veteran returns to the fold, he’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
A trade is off the table
Although the stalemate continues between Bosa and the team that selected him second overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, the 49ers do not seem to have any appetite for trading him.
San Francisco realizes that it has a better team with Bosa than without him. But the longer this saga rumbles on, the more urgent a solution is needed — and the worse the 49ers defense will look without a player as disruptive and impactful as Bosa. He missed only one game last year, and it was a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in which the 49er defense allowed a whopping 168 rushing yards.