NaVorro Bowman and the San Francisco 49ers reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension this week, and we got to hear from Bowman Thursday afternoon following practice.
Bowman had three years left on his contract, so the extension caught a lot of people off guard. It was the first time a Drew Rosenhaus client had signed an extension with that three years left on his previous deal. Bowman made an interesting point about the deal. He said that when he signed his last deal back in 2012, Patrick Willis was still on the team. Bowman said he was willing to take a little bit less on that extension as a show of respect for Willis because it was Pat’s team.
You can listen to the audio here, but it came across to me as more than just the 49ers wanting to get him extended, or use cap space, or whatever. Bowman did not say he walked in and demanded a new deal, but it was to infer that he broached the topic with the 49ers at some point this offseason. Bowman talked about it being about respect. He said holding out was not an option, and he wanted to about it “the right way.” His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had been working with the 49ers for the past month, and 13 hours over the previous day to get the deal done. Rosenhaus and the 49ers have a good working relationship, so it is no surprise they could get something done.
Bowman was asked is if he wanted to play through the life of the deal, since he would be 34 at the end. He said his next goal is to get to ten years (he has six under his belt), and then get into the Hall of Fame. He said he does not want to leave anything on the table before he leaves the game, but he also wants to be healthy enough to play with his kids when his career is over.
All in all, it was an interesting discussion about this deal. We never heard a peep about Bowman wanting a new deal, which goes towards the professionalism in getting this kind of deal done. Contract negotiations in public are never good. We saw Von Miller get his deal done eventually, but not before he and the Denver Broncos pushed things to the brink several times. Bowman got his deal done, and will be a 49er just about for life.