It's not all bad news from the 49ers today. The team announced All-Pro inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman has signed a five-year contract extension. That means that Bowman, who had another year remaining on his rookie deal is signed through 2018. It also means that all four of the team's starting outside linebackers are locked up through the 2015 season.
Bowman leads the team in tackles, and together with Patrick Willis, is one half of arguably the best inside linebacker duo in the NFL. Their speed and tackling ability make the 49ers defense unique in that neither has to come off the field when opposing defenses go with three wide receivers. Both made the AP All-Pro team last season.
"NaVorro epitomizes what we look for in a 49er," general manager Trent Baalke said in a release. "We are excited that the All Pro tandem of Willis and Bowman will be together in red and gold for years to come."
The 49ers have the least amount of salary cap of any team this season. That, however, is because the team adjusted the contracts of several players so that they won't count as much in coming years. That now includes Bowman's salary. He will make $540,000 and $575,000 in base salary this year and next. NFL.com reports that the five-year deal is worth $45.25 million overall, $25.5 million of it guaranteed.
Willis signed a five-year extension two and half years ago. One of the questions was whether the 49ers could afford to keep both and, more to the point, whether Bowman would want more money than Willis, who is the face of the 49ers. Contract figures always are fuzzy, but Willis' contract was reported to be worth $50 million with $29 million guaranteed.
Bowman's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, attended the team's recent home game against the Bears.
Aldon Smith: signed through 2014
Patrick Willis: 2015
Ahmad Brooks: 2017
NaVorro Bowman: 2018
Both Bowman and Willis are scheduled to take part in a press conference at 4 p.m.
-- Matt Barrows