June 19, 2024
It's time to state the case for Nick Bosa's record contract and to dig further into Trey Lance's trade, per 49ers' fans requests in this week's mailbag.

SANTA CLARA — What to do when caught between the preseason and the Sept. 10 opener at Pittsburgh? Answer questions from 49ers’ fans on social media in the following mailbag (which could or could not be renamed Inman’s Inbox for the regular season):

What day could we be seeing the Nick Bosa contract? (@wyatt85_)

It makes the most sense for it to come between Tuesday and next Tuesday. He is on the reserve/did-not-report list, so he does not count against the 90- or 53-man roster, nor does his $18 million salary. The 49ers could carry an injured player onto the initial roster then slide him to short-term Injured Reserve once Bosa reports. A Week 1 arrival isn’t ideal but it’s better than after Week 1.

Why pay this man money he’s not worth? He has never dominated a game, but Chris Jones has, Aaron Donald has, even Clowney. … What game did he put together multiple sacks that changed or dominated a game? (@ezana_mengist)

Oh please. Sacks don’t define his impact, and he had an NFL-high 18 ½ last season, though none in their final five games. His more memorable sacks:

1.) Rookie year, Monday Night Football showcase against Cleveland and Baker Mayfield, and Bosa tallied two sacks, fumble forced, fumble recovered. Three weeks later, he had merely three sacks and an interception in a rout of Carolina. In the Super Bowl loss, he had a strip-sack with an inside move he tried to repeat but got held on a pivotal third-down conversion.

2.) 2021 season, divisional playoff win at Green Bay, his ACL comeback looked complete as he twice sacked Aaron Rodgers to set the tone in an offense-challenged win.

3.) Last season, he had a fourth-down sack to preserve a shutout win over New Orleans; on January 1 at Las Vegas, his pass rush forced an overtime interception to set up a winning field goal. By the way, he not only won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, but teammates presented him their most prestigious honor, the Len Eshmont Award.

I think it’s time for a Bosa trade for three first-round picks, or close to that. (@49ers2022)

I think you’re crazy. Three first-round picks? And do what with them, trade them to move up and draft a quarterback who’s barely played in college? Bosa can not, must not, will not be traded.

Who did Miami pick with the draft picks they got in the Trey Lance trade? (@suri3265)

Simply put, the Dolphins can trace the 49ers’ picks (three first-rounders and a third rounder) to their acquisitions of:

— Wide receiver Jalen Waddle, a 2021 first-round pick, as part of a trade up with Philadelphia.

— Wid receiver Tyreke Hill, via a March 2022 trade from Kansas City.

— Pass rusher Bradley Chubb, via a November 2022 trade from Denver.

— Linebacker Channing Tindall, taken from the 49ers’ 2022 third-round spot.

Was the $6 million guarantee for next season a big reason why the 49ers didn’t just tell Trey “you will be our third QB and we will not trade you”? (@frdynitespecial)

It was not the overriding reason. But it played a role, as John Lynch noted Friday night: “Trey’s on the minimum this year. In future years, next year, it kicks up quite a bit. And that kind of coincides with when our stuff’s going to get tight. So, of course, that plays a factor.”

Added Shanahan: “You’d love to keep a third guy to develop, especially a guy that you really, really love and believe that he could do it someday. But to do that for $7 million over two years, with places where you are in the cap when you can’t provide those reps and stuff for people … that to me doesn’t make much sense for the Niners.”

Do you think the 49ers will regret getting rid of Trey Lance if Purdy gets hurt this season? (@boconnor_707)

That depends on Sam Darnold. If picking Darnold over Lance as the No. 2 quarterback proves a terrible move, that will intensify the evil glare on Lance’s acquisition and departure.

Will new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks have any new wrinkles to the defense? (@rawmindsports)

The 49ers are committed to the base scheme (four linemen, three linebackers) that’s made them a perennially elite unit, but Wilks is expected to call more blitzes – and he’ll be doing so from the coaches’ booth rather than on the field like predecessors Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans.

Do you see the Niners making any other free agent moves before the season starts? (@imthestandard)

Yes, the 49ers are always looking for upgrades or reinforcements. That could mean scooping up a veteran who was a salary-cap casualty soon, or waiting until after Week 1 so as not to guarantee their salary. They’re third-to-last in the waiver wire order, so don’t look for them to claim a young castoff.

Which youngster will step up this year and surprise us? Which player can’t we afford to lose to injury for an extended period of time? (@SFG_soccer)

Young player: Drake Jackson, who should benefit from his linemates drawing double-team blocks. Can’t-miss player: Trent Williams, who not only is the NFL’s best offensive lineman but he does not have a great backup, and that could make the 49ers lose Purdy.

What are we going to do about our kicker situation? (@tt_winn)

Injuries to Jake Moody (quadriceps) and Zane Gonzalez (calf) prompted the 49ers to try out two kickers Monday. One was Tristan Vizcaino, who kicked in their 2020 finale while Robbie Gould was on the COVID list. The other candidate, according to NBC Sports Bay Area, was Taylor Russolino, a 34-year-old whose best success came in the XFL.

Do you know if anyone at the 49ers contacted Robbie Gould? (@renragd)

Unsure, but if the 49ers are holding tryouts with others, that is another signal Gould isn’t coming back after six stellar seasons. If he was on the roster Week 1, it would mean a guaranteed salary, likely in the $5 million range.

Chris Jones and Nick are vying to be the highest-paid D-linemen in the league. While I don’t believe Nick wants to miss any time, he also doesn’t want to sign first. Who is the first to blink? (@SuperYooperFBM)

Jones is a two-time Super Bowl champion with Kansas City and had a big hand (literally) in blocking the 2019 49ers’ path to the Lombardi Trophy. Jones also indicated on social media his impasse could reach Week 8. I don’t get the sense Bosa, or his agent, is waiting on Jones’ deal as much as the 49ers to meet their asking price.

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Are you getting more Trey-related questions or Bosa-related questions? Hahahaha. (@saint.andrew7)

It’s about 20-to-1 Bosa.

Kicker and Bosa are all we want to know. (@theresabaylee)

Yep, quarterbacks already had their day/month/year/decade/generations.

Please sign BOSA!!!! (@markhitesman)

I sense desperation.

C’mon Nick! We need you! (@any.rodriguez7014)

Desperation, confirmed.

Do you think the Niners will go 17-0 or 16-1? (@sup3r_mar10)

17-0 if Bosa is there Week 1, 16-1 if it’s Week 2. (Actually, I’ve officially predicted them going 13-4 and winning the Super Bowl, as you’ll read in our upcoming NFL Kickoff magazine.)

Next: Super Bowl XLVIII
When: Feb. 11, 2024
Where: Las Vegas
Score: 49ers 33, Bengals 17
MVP: Nick Bosa pic.twitter.com/A4EvyGsclI

— Cam Inman (@CamInman) February 13, 2023