SANTA CLARA, Calif. — One thing is certain, the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive lineman said Wednesday: None of them will ever get a D-line dinner check again.
“Never, never,” said Clairn Ferrell with a laugh. “Actually, I’m traveling on the D line now.”
If there’s been a strange, heavy atmosphere inside the 49ers’ locker room lately — because they couldn’t trade Trey Lance and sign the best defensive player — it’s Wednesday, Nick Bosa was hastily swept up by the news that had agreed. He will pay an average of $34 million a season on a five-year contract.
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It seemed to bring both confidence and good spirits.
Kyle Shanahan said he was prepared to dodge reporters’ questions about the contract extension with Bosa when news of the deal broke. Shanahan couldn’t get the smile off his face instead of giving a tense press conference. When asked how many snaps Bosa is expected to take against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Shanahan quickly replied, “How many snaps are there in the game?”
Afterwards, he said Bosa, who is notoriously obsessed with his diet and training, would need to arrive with a beer belly not to play in Pittsburgh.
“And it’s not in Bossa’s DNA,” he said.
Linebacker Fred Warner said he passed Steve Wilkes in the hallway when he was near the 49ers cafeteria at lunch. The defensive coordinator acquired star linebacker Warner.
“Bosa’s here,” said Wilkes.
Warner couldn’t contain his excitement.
“I was so happy,” he said in the 49ers’ locker room about an hour later. “You should have seen me screaming sooner.”
Warner went straight to the locker room and gave the first word to many of his 49ers teammates.
“If I was in here, Fred would come screaming in,” defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said. “Everyone was looking at their phones and talking about it.”
“Everybody loved it,” said fullback Kyle Yushczyk. “We had a little celebration here.”
Botha’s resistance, which lasted 44 days, certainly had an impact.
That means new right tackle Colton McKewitz, who faces edge rusher TJ Watt on Sunday, hasn’t been able to hone his skills against the current NFL Defensive Player of the Year this offseason. do. Makivitz said Botha and Watt are similar.
“Oh, they’re both explosive,” he said. “They play hard. One thing you can see[about Watt]is that he never stops acting.”
Makivitz said he hopes to have a few iterations against Bosa before the team leaves for Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Bosa’s absence has allowed the team’s other defensive ends, rookie Ferrell and sophomore Drake Jackson, to practice multiple times. One of them, who will start against Bosa in Pittsburgh, is probably Ferrell, who has been practicing all spring and summer.
Even Kelly Haider Jr., who is in his third season with the team, said he spent his last offseason in defensive tackle. This year he returned to the defensive end, where he appreciated every snap he took.
“I think this defense is all about reps,” Haider said. “It was really nice to get out there and get back into the swing of things. Getting extra rep is always a plus.”
Star left tackle Trent Williams always believed the 49ers and Bosa would reach an agreement, but Wednesday morning questions began to arise about the timing of the process.
“When I got here today, I started worrying about whether he would finish in time enough to play this weekend,” Williams said.
In an established 49ers locker room tradition, Botha pulls a chair into Williams’ locker after every game. Two of his All-Pros detail what happened in his 60 minutes leading up to the game. They often hang out in locker rooms with other stars.
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Mr. Williams is thrilled that the summit with Bosa can now continue as originally scheduled.
“I miss that part, but I don’t miss blocking him in the slightest,” Williams said. “I miss how we couldn’t sort each other’s brains out. He’s here, he’s in my corner, I’m in his corner, and I definitely miss him.”
“He looks laid back and monotonous, but he plays a vital role in this locker room. , proper sleep, etc. I learned a lot from him.He’s one of the players you really need in the locker room.”
Botha’s locker was filled with mail that had been delivered due to the owner’s absence for several months, but was soon reoccupied by one of the game’s best players. And while they joked about the size of Botha’s salary, no player was offended by the amount.
“He’s not just a teammate, he’s a friend of mine,” Haider said. “So to see him getting paid like that, it’s a blessing. We’re thrilled for him. He deserves it. He gave it his all and gave it his all on the field.” So we’re excited for him to see what he’s been working for. So it’s definitely exciting to see someone like that getting paid so well.”
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Receiver Brandon Ayuk was certainly excited.
“We have a complete team now,” he said.
As for the bigger financial picture, Ayuk was drafted the year after Bosa and is set to play in 2024 with a fifth-year option, so he could land a big deal with the team in 2024. When a reporter asked Mr. Ayyuk if he would be the next to receive the payment, the recipient responded with a gentle smile.
“Let’s see,” he said.
odds and ending
• The 49ers practiced without two players on Wednesday. Williams took a rest day and Interior offensive lineman John Feliciano was absent due to illness.
All other players on the active roster, including starting members George Kittle (groin), Talanoa Hufanga (knee) and Tashawn Gipson Sr. (back), practiced, but these was listed as restricted.
Return man Rayleigh MacLeod III also had limited appearances. He broke his wrist midway through training camp, but was punts with the brace on his arm early in practice. MacLeod said he suffered a similar fracture to his other wrist in his junior year and played in a rigid brace all season without falling.
“Honestly, it made me stronger,” he said. “It made me feel more focused and focused.”
McLeod hopes to face his former team, the Steelers, on Sunday. If he can’t play, rookie Ronnie Bell will serve as the return man and backup receiver.
The 49ers’ other injuries include linebacker Oren Burks (knee), running back Jordan Mason (foot) and kicker Jake Moody (quad). Wednesday is also limited.
Shanahan said he would be surprised if Moody didn’t kick on Sunday.
“He’s doing well and I’m happy with him,” he said.
• The 49ers named six team captains: Arik Armstead, Kittle, Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, Warner and Williams.
Shanahan said he was particularly happy to have Samuel as captain. He was named the team’s MVP in 2021, but suffered a contract dispute the following offseason and, by his own admission, didn’t prepare and play as well as he did last year.
“I think he was disappointed that he didn’t get[captain]last year,” Shanahan said. “I know he was. I think it shows how committed he’s been, that he’s one of those players, especially last year that ended narrowly. You’ve seen it on the field, and the players feel it strongly.”
(Top photo of Trent Williams hugging Nick Bosa: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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