The San Francisco 49ers are still waiting for their best defensive player to arrive in camp with less than three weeks before the start of the season.
Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa’s holdout entered its fifth week as the star defensive end is still waiting for a lucrative contract extension to replace the final year of his rookie contract.
Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said Monday that he has no updates on the status of Bosa and remains focused on getting the rest of the defense ready for the opener on Sept. 10 at Pittsburgh.
“Not in my pay grade, so I don’t bring it up,” Wilks said.
The 49ers have had a strong history of rewarding their own stars, giving big extensions the past three summers to tight end George Kittle, linebacker Fred Warner and receiver Deebo Samuel.
But getting a deal done with Bosa has proved more complicated as he is expected to get more money than those three players after proving that he can consistently be one of the top defensive ends in the league when healthy since being drafted second overall in 2019.
Bosa led the NFL with 18 1/2 sacks last season when he was selected as the league’s top defensive player and has 43 sacks in 51 games. He is currently under contract on the fifth-year option for $17.9 million this season.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the only defensive player with a contract worth at least $30 million a year after signing a three-year, $95 million extension last offseason. Bosa could top that with his new deal.
By holding out of camp, Bosa is subject to fines of $40,000 a day and could be fined a game check for each exhibition game he misses. But because he’s still on a rookie deal, the 49ers have the option of waiving those fines, which general manager John Lynch has said the team plans to do.
The Niners and Bosa’s camp have kept negotiations quiet and there has been no public acrimony from either side. Bosa typically works out away from the team during the offseason and has always come into camp in top shape.
He has usually been limited in practice in training camp and not played in exhibition games, giving the Niners confidence he won’t need much time to get back up to speed if a deal gets done soon.
“I’ve seen it from afar, but I think he’ll be fine when he gets here,” said Wilks, who is in his first year as coordinator in San Francisco.
NOTES: RB Elijah Mitchell, DE Drake Jackson, DT Javon Kinlaw, DT Kalia Davis returned to practice after missing time with injuries. … TE George Kittle and LB Dre Greenlaw were back on the field as well but only participated in individual drills. … Jackson had an acrobatic interception on a screen pass from Brock Purdy that he returned for a touchdown. … The Niners signed RB Brian Hill to a one-year deal and waived DL Tomasi Laulile.
Source: NBC Bay Area