As everyone waits for NFL preseason to begin (starts on August 7), teams are still making some moves, with short and long term impact in mind. The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a contract extension with NaVorro Bowman, while the Kansas City Chiefs ended up as the team signing Nick Foles.
Foles seemed to be quite in demand after his release from the Los Angeles Rams. The Dallas Cowboys were interested, especially after Kellen Moore picked up an injury that keeps him out for the season, but Foles will got to play for the man who drafted him, Andy Reid. The former Arizona State QB played in 7 games for the Eagles in 2013, completing 60.8% of his throws, throwing six touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Now he’ll backup Alex Smith, hoping to solidify his position as a desirable backup quarterback in the NFL, which means waiting for the opportunity to show he’s starting material at some point.
The deal is a one year deal, with a team option on the second season. He’ll be competing with Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray for the quarterback depth chart seeding, but his experience as a starter in the NFL, mostly from this time with the Eagles and not the Rams, should give him an advantage, unless last season was a sign things are going to get much worse pretty soon.
The 49ers showed their faith in Bowman, who did the same with the suddenly struggling franchise. He was already signed through the 2018 season, but the four year extension he signed, worth $44 million and $20 million in guaranteed money, keeps him until 2022. The 28-year old was Pro Bowler in 2015, an All-Pro for the fourth time in his career and the NFL’s tackle leader, all this from the inside linebacker position, while the 49ers were struggling on the field and off of it, leading to the firing of head coach (after just one year) Jim Tomsula, as Chip Kelly came in for him.
Bowman has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL over the last five years, and missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL and MCL keeping him didn’t stop him from having a fantastic comeback. While these kind of extension deals are rare, especially for a player who has three years and $23.55 million left on his current contract, the 49ers wanted to spend some of their $50 million in cap space on players they want to build the franchise around. A third round pick in 2010, Bowman played his college football at Penn State, and will be 34 by the time the deal expires, if it’s not extended or terminated before.