49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday that he is now considering the possibility of defensive star Nick Bosa missing games at the beginning of the 2023 NFL season. Shanahan has been nonchalant as Bosa’s contract dispute dragged on throughout the preseason, but it has not yet been resolved with one week remaining until Week 1.

“I thought it would come probably at this time just looking at the history of those things,” Shanahan said, according to the team transcript. “I’m really hoping it gets done. I know they’re working tirelessly at it. [General manager] John [Lynch], [VP of football administrations [Brian] Hamp [Hampton], [president] Paraag [Marathe]. I know their team is. But hopefully, we can get him in here sooner than later.”

49ers management reiterated that it does not plan to trade Bosa, the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and currently the 117th highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. In 2020, Bosa’s brother, fellow star defender Joey Bosa, signed a five-year, $135 million extension with the Chargers. San Francisco’s Bosa, making $17.8 million in the final year of his contract, is likely seeking an even bigger extension.

While Bosa and his agents continue negotiations with the 49ers, Shanahan told reporters that the team would struggle without one of the league’s best defensive ends.

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“Yeah, I can imagine anything. Doesn’t mean I like that picture,” Shanahan said of Bosa’s potential absence. “Of course not. You guys know how we feel about Nick, and we all know how good of a player he is. So hopefully we can come to terms soon and get him here as fast as possible.”

In the 2022 season, the 49ers were one of the most well-built teams in football, boasting elite players on both sides of the ball. The defense remained stout throughout the playoffs, and if not for an injury at quarterback in the NFC Championship, it’s possible that the team could have reached the Super Bowl. Retaining Bosa could prove integral to the team’s hopes of returning to that position in the coming season.

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