Nick Bosa will suit up for the San Francisco 49ers this season after the two sides agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension that includes $122.5 million guaranteed, making the 25-year-old star pass-rusher the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
Bosa, who was drafted second overall in 2019, won Defensive Rookie of the Year and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season when he led the league with 18.5 sacks. His average annual payout of $34 million tops the previously highest mark of $31.7 million for Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Bosa has been selected to three Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors in 2022. His 34 sacks over the past two seasons since returning from a season-ending knee injury in 2020 top the NFL over that time frame.
That said, what does Bosa’s deal mean for Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons?
Parsons, 24, finished with 13.5 sacks this past season; he has 26.5 sacks over the past two seasons and has become the identity of the Cowboys defense and the team’s best overall player.
On Thursday’s edition of “Undisputed,” Michael Irvin made the case that the Cowboys will now deploy Parsons — whose extension eligible after this season — so he gets more sacks.
“Now [Cowboys defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn knows, ‘I need to get my dawg at least 19 sacks and next year he’s going to be the highest-paid defensive player in the history of the game,” Irvin said. “Nick Bosa got it with 18.5 [sacks]. Micah Parsons has 20 in him. It will get him his MVP and all of his money. That’s what he’s going to do.”
Cohost Keyshawn Johnson argued that Parsons will inevitably get a record-breaking bag because history is on the side of star players on playoff teams getting their money.
“He’s the next guy up that’s a star playing for the stars,” Johnson said. “He plays in Dallas; big stage, but he’s dominant. When you’re a dominant player, and you play on a good team, and you’re the next guy up, [you’re going to] get your money. If you’re good and your team is not good, you don’t get paid the same way. You think about all the top players that get paid — whether it’s a [T.J.] Watt, whether it’s a Bosa — they’re on good playoff teams, and they’re good.”
Skip Bayless asserted that Parsons has to step up and take more ownership for the Cowboys this season in order for that to come to fruition, however.
“This kid has spent the whole offseason doing everything in his power to figure out how to take it up a level,” Bayless said. “This kid, as I told Michael the other day, has to become a man this year because he tailed last year. He had eight sacks in the first seven games, and then he only had 5.5 in the last 10, including only 1.5 in the last six. That won’t hack it. …
“Sometimes you just grow up, you just sort of overnight you become a man.”
The Cowboys open the 2023 regular season on the road against the New York Giants on Sunday (8:20 p.m. ET).
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