The distractions had been piling up for head coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers.

Shanahan was asked daily about former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, a player who eventually turned out to be the No. 3 quarterback on his roster and was shipped out to the Dallas Cowboys.

His starting quarterback, Brock Purdy, is working his way back from major elbow surgery, putting in question his availability long-term for this Super Bowl-contending team at the most important position on the field.

Jake Moody, the rookie kicker San Francisco drafted in the third round, struggled in exhibition play and suffered a quad injury that could affect his long-term availability.

And the team’s best defensive player in Nick Bosa was holding out for a historic payday.

Well, as general manager John Lynch expected all along, the 49ers finally got the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year under contract on Wednesday.

According to reports, Bosa agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension that includes $122.5 million in guaranteed money. The Ohio State product will earn $34 million annually, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history, surpassing Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s $31.7 million per year.

“We all knew Nick was going to get rewarded like he did,” a relieved Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday minutes after hearing the news. “I don’t know the exact details of it. I knew it would be like that eventually, our organization did. I think Nick did. And I’m glad we got it worked out on everyone’s side because we love Nick. I think he loves being here and he definitely earned this. He’s going to earn it moving forward, too.”

Bosa, 25, had a strong argument for becoming the highest-paid defensive player in the league. He earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors his first season in the league and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year last year, totaling 18.5 sacks during the regular season. He’s been selected to three Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors in 2022.

Bosa’s 34 sacks over the past two seasons since returning from a season-ending knee injury in 2020 top the NFL over that time frame.

Bosa is expected to shake off the rust this week and play in San Francisco’s season opener on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. But it’s fair to wonder how many defensive snaps Bosa will play after not going through training camp this season.

Bosa has reportedly been training in anticipation of a deal getting done before the start of the regular season, so he’s likely in good shape. However, getting in the kind of shape needed to play a full football game is different. The 49ers are likely to err on the side of caution after just signing Bosa to a megadeal.

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This team has Super Bowl aspirations after reaching the NFC Championship game in three of the past four years. Having one of the most explosive pass rushers in the league at their disposal certainly improves their chances of making a deep playoff run.

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New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has said this year’s defensive line has the most competitive depth on a roster that he’s ever been around. That includes defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who was signed to a four-year, $84 million contract during free agency this offseason.

Now that Hargrave can pair with Bosa on game days, the 49ers have one of the scariest pass-rushing tandems in the league.

“I know Nick will come in here in shape,” Shanahan told reporters. “I know he’ll be good. It would be great if he can get in something today. I don’t know when he’ll be here or where he’s flying from. But we’ll be smart with it, and that will be based on these next two and half practices.”

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

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