49ers linebacker Bowman gets 5-year extension

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — NaVorro Bowman had to tell someone about his hefty new contract before it became public. And there was pal Patrick Willis first thing Tuesday before they began their morning workout.

"He was excited as soon as I told him, when I wasn't supposed to," Bowman said about Willis, the godfather of Bowman's twin girls born earlier this year. "I couldn't keep it from him. I think he has lot to do with this, helping me out."

The 49ers' inside linebacker pair of Bowman and Willis will be lining up together on San Francisco's talented defense well into the future if all goes as planned.

On Tuesday, Bowman reached agreement on a five-year contract extension through the 2018 season — a deal worth $45.25 million, with $25.5 million in guaranteed money.

"Any time you get a chance to get a deal done and it sounds great and everybody's comfortable with it, why not?" Bowman said. "It shows the trust the organization has in me."

With Bowman's new deal, it keeps one of the best and most-feared linebacking tandems in the NFL together for the long haul — as Willis is signed through 2016.

The 24-year-old 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 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."

Bowman's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he began talking about a new deal with the 49ers in the offseason but the sides were "pretty far apart" at that stage.

"It's a very special accomplishment. I take my hat off to the Niners and to NaVorro," Rosenhaus said. "I think only the most proactive teams get it done. I think this perhaps the most talented team in the NFL. If you want to keep all your good players, you have to get deals done now. You can't let guys get to free agency. You can't keep everybody."



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