Bosa claims AP Defensive Player of Year after huge 2022 season

  • Programming note: NFL Honors airs on NBC Bay Area at 9 p.m. PT on Thursday night.

PHOENIX — It might not have been the ultimate goal of Nick Bosa’s 2022 season, but it was incredibly meaningful for the 49ers star to be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. 

The football world recognized what a special player Bosa is during NFL Honors on Thursday night.

Bosa received 46 of the 50 first-place votes, beating out Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons and Kansas City Chiefs star Chris Jones.

Bosa gave an emotional speech after receiving the award.

Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks, 51 tackles — 41 solo and 19 for a loss. The All-Pro also racked up 48 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and a pass breakup. The edge rusher's presence on the field alone has an effect on how opposing offenses game plan for the 49ers.

General manager John Lynch knows what a special player the 49ers have in Bosa, and during his end-of-season press conference, he shared his belief of how deserving the edge rusher is of the award.

“I think first of all with Nick, in my heart of hearts, he deserves to be the Defensive Player of the Year in our league,” Lynch said. “I hope that comes his way, because he's earned that. He's a fantastic football player, he's a game changer of a football player. I should stop now, but everybody already knows all that.”

Bosa winning DPOY heading into his fifth NFL season with the 49ers sets the Ohio State product up to become the highest paid defensive player in the league. The 25-year old, however, says that is not a goal in his upcoming contract talks.

“Not necessarily, just see where it goes,” Bosa said on locker-room clean-out day. “I’m definitely going to have patience and probably not worry about it for some time. I have an amazing agent who will handle all that, and I’ll just enjoy my time off and get ready to roll next year.” 

Bosa plans on heading to his home base in Florida for the offseason to train with his brother Joey, star pass rusher for the Los Angeles Chargers.

RELATED: DeMeco Ryans wins AP Assistant Coach of the Year

Meanwhile the 49ers will set into motion the steps to keep Bosa in the red and gold for the long haul.

In addition to Bosa's win, former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was named NFL Assistant Coach of the Year. Kyle Shanahan (NFL Coach of the Year), Brock Purdy (NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year) and Christian McCaffrey (NFL Comeback Player of the Year) did not take home awards Thursday night.

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