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The NFL season is a roller coaster even for good teams. And that being true, we welcome the San Francisco 49ers to the ride.
They’re a good team. And they’re already riding the ups and downs of the 2023 season as training camp practices begin for them Wednesday.
The team shared hopeful news about starting quarterback Brock Purdy on Tuesday: He is coming off significant elbow surgery that repaired his torn ulnar collateral ligament in March and he’s ready for training camp.
“Brock is cleared and ready to go,” general manager John Lynch told reporters. “He’s been cleared. He is going to be without restrictions.”
Brock Purdy To Practice Thursday
Purdy won’t practice with the team on Wednesday because he is getting a scheduled day off after ramping up his throwing sessions the previous few days. But Purdy is scheduled to be on the field Thursday as the team’s starting quarterback.
“The great news is Brock has worked his tail off and he’s ready to go,” Lynch said.
And a few seconds later the season’s roller coaster took a steep dive. That’s because 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, the NFL’s defensive player of the year last season, is not reporting to training camp.
He’s in a contract hold out.
“I would expect he’s not here to start off,” Lynch said.
Nick Bosa Holding Out From 49ers Camp
Bosa is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make a fully guaranteed $17.859 million. But despite the fact he’s under contract, and might decide to come around to do a sort of hold in, he definitely isn’t going to practice.
The Niners know this. The don’t expect Bosa on the field and he will not be fined whatever he does.
“I wouldn’t,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “That would surprise me.”
Downer. But just about then that ride took an upswing. Because even within the Bosa bad news the situation promises a solution at some point.
Bosa, 49ers Contract Talks Respectful
Negotiations have by no means been contentious, according to a source. And the sides are keeping in contact almost every day, including Tuesday
“We’re working,” Lynch said. “We’re having really good communication with [Bosa agent] Brian Ayrault. He’s got good, competent people that we have an immense amount of respect for working for him and we’re working diligently to try to come to an agreement.”
Here’s the challenge: Bosa is one of the NFL’s best at his position. He can even argue he’s one of the NFL’s best players regardless of position.
But he’s not a quarterback. He cannot be paid like a quarterback, especially not the highest paid guys such as Justin Herbert, who just agreed to a monster extension.
So what is the sweet spot between being a great defensive player, who perhaps deserves to be in the same company with Aaron Donald’s $31.67 million per season on an annual average? And coming anywhere close to the $50 million club occupied by multiple quarterbacks?
Nick Bosa Wants Aaron Donald Money
The QB thing ain’t happening.
The Donald neighborhood is where the negotiation centers, according to a source.
“We got a pretty good track record of having our guys here and done with contracts,” Lynch said. “So, like I said, this one may be perhaps a little more complex and no timelines there, but I tell you that we’re working hard.
“We have good communication and we got to keep doing that. And the interest is mutual.”
That is something of a high note. But this being a roller coaster, it needs a higher one to climb or the ride gets boring.
So Lynch gave it to us with his thoughts on whether the 49ers, in the NFC Championship Game the last two years and in the Super Bowl four years ago, still have an open window of opportunity to win it all.
“All you want in this league is a chance and not everybody has that chance,” Lynch said. “We’re a team that has a chance with the way we’re constructed, the way we’re coached, the character in that locker room, the talent in that locker room.
“Now it’s our players’ jobs to take that ownership. It’s all of our jobs to give it our best shot. We do have a chance and I think we have a really good one. I like this group as it’s constructed and there’s a lot to like. Now we have to go do it.”