The team announced on Wednesday that Bowman has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him in San Francisco through the 2022 season. New coach Chip Kelly must be a huge fan of Bowman, because the 49ers gave him the new deal despite the fact that the linebacker still had three years left on his old deal.
The 49ers signed Bowman early because they wanted to make sure they kept their defensive "cornerstone" around for the foreseeable future, according to general manager Trent Baalke.
"Over the last six years, NaVorro has become a cornerstone of our organization and securing his future in the Bay Area was a priority for us," Baalke said in a statement. "The perseverance he displayed while overcoming adversity and returning to his All-Pro form provides a great example of what can be accomplished through hard work and self-belief. This contract extension reaffirms our core philosophy of rewarding our own players, and we are thrilled to know NaVorro will play his entire career with the 49ers."
Bowman, 28, will be 34 if he plays out the entirety of his new contract with the 49ers.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Bowman deal is an odd one. Not only did it come with three years left on his old deal, but the 49ers gave their linebacker a serious raise. For the four-year extension (2019-22), Bowman will make a total of $44 million, which includes $20 million in guaranteed money.
The 49ers are also giving Bowman a raise on the remaining portion of his old contract. Under the old deal, Bowman would've made roughly $23.55 million over the next three years. Under the new deal, Bowman will pull in $33 million over the next three years, which gives the deal a total of value of $77 million over seven years.
Bowman's new deal is good for him and the 49ers, but it could cause some tension in locker rooms across the NFL. Players like Michael Bennett and DeAndre Hopkins have been hoping to get extensions this year, but they've been shot down because they have too many years left on their current deal.
Players might start pointing to the Bowman deal as an example of a guy who got rewarded early.
As for Bowman, he's thrilled to be staying with the team that stuck by him after he suffered a devastating injury in the NFC title game after the 2013 season. During the fourth quarter of a 23-17 loss to the Seahawks, Bowman tore his ACL and MCL.
The injuries were so bad that Bowman was forced to sit out the entire 2014 season.
Bowman returned with a vengeance in 2015 though: Not only did he start all 16 games for the 49ers, but he led the NFL in tackles with 154. The linebacker was named first-team All-Pro in 2015, and was voted to his third career Pro Bowl.
"My teammates and coaches have meant so much to me throughout my career and I thank them for helping me become the player I am today," Bowman said in a statement. "The support I've received from my family and friends throughout my life, especially through the adversity of the past few years, has meant so much to me. I can't wait for the season to start and play in front of the best fans in the NFL."
Bowman has been in San Francisco since 2010, when the 49ers selected him in the third round of the NFL Draft.