Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NaVorro Bowman wanted to keep playing alongside Patrick Willis

NaVorro Bowman couldn’t help himself. His five-year contract extension with the 49ers was not officially done Tuesday morning, but Bowman still felt compelled to share the impending news with fellow linebacker Patrick Willis.
“He was excited,” Bowman said. “I wasn’t supposed to tell him, but I couldn’t keep it from him. He has a great deal to do with this, too, just playing beside him and him helping me through this season and last year.”
Bowman’s previous contract runs through next season, and this extension carries him through 2018. It’s potentially worth $45.25 million over the five years, including $25.5 million in guaranteed money, according to the Associated Press.
All four of San Francisco’s starting linebackers – Willis, Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith – now are signed through at least 2015.
Bowman, a third-round draft choice from Penn State in 2010, stepped into the starting lineup last season and quickly blossomed. He and Willis both earned first-team, All-Pro honors in helping the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game.
“I know he’s going to continue to play hard and continue to do all the things right to become an even better player,” Willis said. “We’re truly blessed to have him here for a long time and beside each other.”
Bowman’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, initially approached the 49ers last offseason. Rosenhaus said the sides were “pretty far apart” then, but they obviously closed the gap. Bowman will become one of the top-five paid players at his position, according to Rosenhaus.
Asked why he wanted a contract extension now, Bowman said, “This is a very physical game. And whenever you have a chance to get a deal done, and it sounds good and everyone is comfortable with it, why not? It shows the organization trusts me and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
Willis also plans to cash in by getting Bowman to take him out to eat “somewhere nice. Super nice.”

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