49ers LB NaVorro Bowman agrees to 5-year contract extension

By Ryan Wilson | Blogger

November 27, 2012 4:50 pm ET

Heading into 2011, NaVorro Bowman was known as "the other 49ers inside linebacker." This is what happens when you play next to Patrick Willis. But Bowman earned All-Pro honors after his 143-tackle season, and he's on pace to exceed those totals this year. On Tuesday, San Francisco thought enough of Bowman to give him a contract extension two-and-a-half years into his NFL career.

The move guarantees that the 49ers will have the best inside linebackers in football for the foreseeable future, and all four linebackers (Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith and Willis) are under contract through 2015.

“NaVorro epitomizes what we look for in a 49er,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team. “We are excited that the All Pro tandem of Willis and Bowman will be together in red and gold for years to come.”

According to NFL Network's Albert Breer (via PFT), Bowman's new deal is worth $45.25 million in new money over the five years, with $25.5 million guaranteed.

The team was so excited about the news that they posted this graphic to Instagram:

(We don't remember seeing this when Alex Smith re-signed with San Francisco in the offseason.)