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NaVorro Bowman was the right man to extend, two premier ILBs not a luxury

NaVorro Bowman was the right player for the San Francisco 49ers to extend, and their linebacking corps is set for a long time to come.

Ezra Shaw

Just a few short weeks ago, I saw users on here talking about the future of San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. One user voiced the opinion that it seemed like an awful big luxury for the 49ers to have the two best inside linebackers in the league on the same team. Many quickly agreed, and other users suggested that signing Dashon Goldson to a long-term deal would be preferable.

That's just silly.

Goldson has finally been playing relatively mistake-free football, which has me well on board the hype train to get him signed for more years. The past few years, his mistakes have been too much for me, and I've never been in favor of paying him the big money. But now he's playing well and I'm all for it.

But Bowman is, as I already said, the second best inside linebacker in the NFL. Not just on this team - in the entire league. You don't let a guy like him get away, and the people saying its a luxury are simply trying to push their own agenda.

This isn't like taking Takeo Spikes and giving him a big extension. Spikes was a prototypical TED, who did a lot of things incredibly well, but he didn't do the kinds of things Bowman does. To simply look at it and say "that's too much money for a TED linebacker," is foolish.

Not all TEDs are created equal. In fact, so little of what Bowman is asked to do these days is prototypical of a TED linebacker. He's taken on a lot of the responsibility that Patrick Willis was previously tasked with, and he does it very well. Willis spends a lot more time in coverage than he used to, while Bowman patrols the field and makes the big plays.

Bowman is essential to the 49ers' gameplan. Without him, the defense falls apart. He's more important than Goldson, by a long shot. The fact that there aren't those game-breaking safeties in the NFL right now doesn't mean that Goldson is suddenly more valuable. The second best inside linebacker in the league is clearly a better option than a safety who isn't the best at his position.