NaVorro Bowman, the talented young linebacker, was granted a five-year, $45.25 million contract extension that keeps him with the San Francisco 49ers through 2018.
”Any time you get a chance to get a deal done and it sounds great and everybody’s comfortable with it, why not?” Bowman, 24, said. ”It shows the trust the organization has in me.”
Bowman, a third-round draft pick in 2010 out of Penn State, has 100 tackles, two sacks and an interception this season as a second-year starter for the NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1). As a rookie, his 20 special-teams tackles ranked third in the NFL.
He was an All-Pro pick alongside linebacker Patrick Willis last season, and was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.
”That’s good, a young guy, a good guy, Pro Bowl, All-Pro guy to be around here another five years,” cornerback Carlos Rogers said.
In addition to Bowman and Willis, the team’s other two starting linebackers are signed at least for the next three seasons – Ahmad Brooks through 2017 and Aldon Smith through 2015.
”We have a chance to do something really special, with all four linebackers being here for the next three years,” Bowman said. ”We can make a statement for ourselves and leave a legacy for this defense.”
“NaVorro epitomizes what we look for in a 49er,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. ”We are excited that the All Pro tandem of Willis and Bowman will be together in red and gold for years to come.”
Bowman has credited his rapid development to the guidance he received from Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, who was fired as San Francisco’s head coach after a loss at St. Louis in the second-to-last week of 2010.
Bowman is a big reason San Francisco has been so strong stopping the run the past two years. The 49ers rank No. 2 in total defense this week, fourth against the run.
”It’s a good group of linebackers, probably the best in the league,” Rogers said. ”If not, they’re right there at the top.”
Added Bowman, who has $25.5 million of his new deal guaranteed: ”At the end of the day it’s not really about money. We all play this game and we get paid a good amount of money, but all in all, people remember you for the wins and remember you for the team that you’re a part of.”