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San Francisco 49ers star pass-rusher Nick Bosa has set the new standard for a contract extension for a defensive player.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year agreed to a five-year extension worth $170 million with $122 million guaranteed on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal makes Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Bosa’s extension is sure to have ramifications on other players who are seeking new contracts now and in the future. Let’s take a look at two of the bigger names on the horizon.
Dallas Cowboys star edge-rusher Micah Parsons will become eligible for an extension after the 2023 season. If he continues to produce the way he did in his first two years in the league, he could set a new mark for the highest-paid defensive player with his new deal.
Parsons has earned first-team All-Pro honors and Pro Bowl selections in each of the last two seasons. In 2022, he started all 17 games and recorded 65 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
The 24-year-old quickly established himself as the heartbeat of the Cowboys defense, so the team should be ready to break the bank to keep him in a Dallas uniform for the rest of his career. As long as Parsons doesn’t see a dropoff in production, expect him to sign a long-term extension worth $35 million per year, beating Bosa’s average annual value of $34 million.
A more pressing player to address is Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, who had held out all season while seeking a new contract. The four-time Pro Bowler is entering the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract.
It’s believed that Jones is seeking a deal worth at least $30 million per year, but there’s a chance he wants to surpass Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald’s $31.7 million per year. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Tuesday that there has been “no progress” in negotiations, so it’s clear that his contract demands aren’t being met.
While Jones is a premiere defensive tackle who posted 44 total tackles and 15.5 sacks last season, The Athletic’s Nate Taylor reported last month that the Chiefs are “unwilling to make” him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the league.
At this point, it remains to be seen which side will compromise first. We’ll project Jones to receive a short-term deal worth $30 million over two years.
The Chiefs open the 2023 season on Thursday against the Detroit Lions, and it looks like they will be without their best defensive player as Jones continues his holdout.