Nick Bosa’s standoff with the San Francisco 49ers remains to be the biggest contract holdout in the NFL as the new season approaches. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has yet to come to terms with his team on a new deal, and Bosa has opted not to report to the squad throughout the offseason.
With San Francisco’s Week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers now just days away, it appears that the team is already preparing for the worst-case scenario.
Talanoa Hufanga Speaks Out on Nick Bosa’s Holdout With San Francisco 49ers
Niners safety Talanoa Hufanga has shared his honest thoughts on Bosa’s extended absence. The All-Pro safety admitted that he, along with the rest of the team, would love to get Bosa back as soon as possible. However, they are also beginning to accept the harsh reality of his current situation with the front office:
“For us, we just got to play with who we got,” Hufanga said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News Josh Alper of PFT(h/t ). “We would love to have Bosa, obviously. I think that’s a no-brainer. Best defensive player in NFL, and it shows. For us, we’ve just got to prepare as if he’s not going to be here. Obviously, that’s an upper-echelon question; that’s a front-office question. And so, for me, I don’t know if I can answer anything else on that, but once he’s here, we’d love to have him.”
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) September 4, 2023
That doesn’t sound like a very confident answer in terms of Bosa’s availability for the Niners’ season opener on Sunday. As he said, Hufanga is unable to speak on the status of negotiations between Bosa and the Niners brass, which is probably why he too remains in the dark in terms of whether or not their star defensive lineman will be back in time for their bout against the Steelers. At this point, the Niners have no other choice but to prepare as if Bosa won’t be available.
San Francisco 49ers Remaining Optimistic Amid Extended Standoff
For his part, however, head coach Kyle Shanahan has remained optimistic throughout this entire ordeal. The San Francisco shot-caller previously expressed his desire for this holdout to end at the soonest possible time as he looks forward to getting his star player back with the team.
Last week, Shanahan was asked about Bosa’s fitness level amid his absence from any and all team activities this summer. The 43-year-old acknowledged how the lack of practice could have an impact on Bosa’s current physical condition. However, Shanahan hinted that he will use the three-time Pro Bowler if he’s available:
“I’m gonna do everything I can [to see] that he plays against Pittsburgh, but I can’t make that decision until you see a guy, you see him out there,” Shanahan said, via David Bonilla of 49ers Webzone. “Hopefully, we get a chance to get him into practice next week, and if he is, that’ll make it a much easier decision for us.”
Despite the optimism, recent developments seem to point to the notion that Nick Bosa might actually sit out San Francisco’s first game of the 2023 campaign, and perhaps even beyond.