Former Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, arguably the best player in the 2019 NFL draft, used to be a frequent tweeter, unafraid to speak his mind on all manner of topics.
But if you follow Bosa’s @nbsmallerbear account, you might have noticed that he has become more restrained in recent months.
‘I might end up in San Francisco’
Bosa brought attention to his Twitter feed with opinions like “Beyoncés music is complete trash,” as he did in 2016.
He also posted, “[Colin] Kaepernick is a clown” in 2016, and “Black panther worst marvel movie of all time” in 2018, and tweets in support of President Donald Trump.
But all of those tweets have since been deleted.
“I had to. There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco,” Bosa told Kevin Van Valkenburg for an ESPN the Magazine feature posted online Tuesday.
Of course, Kaepernick is no longer with the 49ers, though the city of San Francisco is one of the most socially progressive cities in America, and has been for decades.
Kaepernick may be a clown to Bosa, but at least he had the courage of his conviction and stood his ground, even when it became clear it could – and eventually did – cost him his livelihood and as he drew the ire of those who demonized him.
‘I think it’s dumb’
Bosa hasn’t played a game since last September, against TCU. In that game he suffered an excruciating groin injury, one that required season-ending surgery to repair torn core muscles, and a lengthy rehab.
After spending some time as an observer at Ohio State practices, Bosa ultimately withdrew from school, and moved in with his brother, Joey, in Los Angeles, to rehab and prepare for the NFL draft.
While Bosa’s case was different from Christian McCaffrey and other college stars who opted not to play in bowl games to preserve their health for the draft, he still was painted as selfish by some who believed he was skipping out on a national championship-caliber team.
Bosa tried to make it clear that he would have played if he could, and it bothers him still that the perception lingers that he was making a statement about college athletes’ power and influence.
“I think it's dumb. I had a season-ending injury. If I could have played, I would have played and given it everything I had,” Bosa said. “It's not like I was trying to set a trend or I'd planned on skipping a year. ... It was terrible the way it got taken away from me.”
At the NFL scouting combine, Van Valkenburg asked one league executive if Bosa’s decision would be held against him.
“Nope,” the executive said. “When you're as good as he is, it doesn't matter.”
More from Yahoo Sports: