The San Francisco 49ers aren't waiting around to lock down one of the game's top linebackers.
The team on Tuesday agreed to terms with NaVorro Bowman on a five-year extension through the 2018 season. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Bowman will earn $45.25 million with $25.5 million guaranteed over the life of the contract.
"For me to get this deal done just means a lot, and it shows that the organization trusts me and I'm just happy to be a part of it," Bowman said during a news conference Tuesday.
The extension seals up the heart of San Francisco defense for years to come. Linebacker Patrick Willis is inked through 2016; fellow linebacker Ahmad Brooks is set through 2017 and edge rusher Aldon Smith will terrorize quarterbacks for the Niners through 2015. Unfortunately for everyone in the NFC West, Bowman has been added to the mix.
"NaVorro epitomizes what we look for in a 49er," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "We are excited that the All Pro tandem of Willis and Bowman will be together in red and gold for years to come."
Bowman was the team's third-round pick in 2010 and has outplayed that draft position. The 2011 All-Pro has started 28 games for the 49ers and leads the team in tackles this season.
Whispers have hinted that Bowman and Willis -- known for neutralizing ground schemes -- have struggled against the run this season. "I think they're playing a little too laterally as opposed to playing downhill with the aggression that we've come to expect," Greg Cosell of NFL Films said earlier this month after poring through hours of game tape.
San Francisco has rebounded of late and ranks fourth against the rush, and the 49ers appear confident Bowmen is worth every penny over the long-term.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.