SANTA CLARA — Nick Bosa’s contract holdout from the 49ers offers a stealth benefit if it drags into Tuesday.
Bosa does not count on the current 90-man roster nor will the 49ers need to save him a spot on the initial 53-man list, which is due Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Because he did not report when the 49ers opened training camp July 25, Bosa was placed on a reserve list, and he continued to work out at his offseason home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
That could benefit one bubble player on the roster bubble, such as an injured one who must make the 53-man roster before reverting to Injured Reserve and remaining eligible to play in the coming season. Candidates who fit that profile: tight end Cameron Latu and wide receivers Ray-Ray McCloud and Danny Gray.
The 49ers still must cut more than a third of their roster. Aside from Friday’s trade of quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys, staff reductions began Sunday with this unsurprising wave: cornerback Nate Brooks, linebacker Kyahva Tezino, and defensive linemen La’Darius Hamilton, Breeland Speaks and Spencer Waege.
On Saturday, defensive end Taco Charlton’s contract was terminated, according to the NFL’s transaction wire; a week earlier, he was placed on Injured Reserve with what’s believed to be a hamstring issue. Charlton was a 2017 first-round pick of the Cowboys who was signed by the 49ers on Aug. 1 and impressed early in camp.
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As for Bosa, it’s believed that the 49ers’ talks with his agent, Brian Ayrault, heated up a week ago. Rather than play this season on the final year of his rookie contract with a $17.9 million salary, Bosa figures to command the highest contract extension ever in NFL history for a non-quarterback. He won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors with a league-leading and career-high 18 1/2 sacks last year, his fourth season.
General manager John Lynch said Friday night he expects Bosa to play in the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh, adding: “We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ll continue to do that. He’s a great player. We want him here. We need him here.”
Maybe they need him to just wait a couple of more days, for their roster’s sake.