Joey Bosa, Chargers Agree to Contract: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2016

Ohio State’s Joey Bosa poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the San Diego Chargers as the third pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The San Diego Chargers added one of the most dominant defensive playmakers in the entire 2016 NFL draft when they selected Ohio State's Joey Bosa with the third overall pick, the team announced.

Bosa and the Chargers agreed to a four-year contract, with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reporting the deal is worth $25.8 million with a $17 million signing bonus. Rapoport added the contract is "fully guaranteed." 

Joel Corry of CBS Sports provided a breakdown of the signing bonus payout:

Adam Schefter of ESPN said the "Chargers got some of what they wanted from [Bosa], and he got some of what he wanted from them." Schefter added the Chargers "compromised on cash flow" in years two, three and four of the contract and gave Bosa the "largest upfront signing bonus" in team history.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco spoke on the agreement with Bosa in the team release.

"We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season," Telesco said.

Schefter reported, citing a Chargers official, that Bosa will not play in San Diego's preseason finale and will make his debut in Week 1 of the regular season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The agreement comes after a long holdout in which the two sides squabbled over the details of Bosa's rookie deal.

Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune noted the holdout revolved around offset language, which Bosa's group did not want in the contract. If there wasn't offset language, the Chargers would have to pay Bosa the entirety of his guaranteed deal if they released him during the time frame of the contract.

Gehlken explained if there was offset language in the deal, "the Chargers are off the hook for Bosa's salary with his new team, only owing him the difference between the two."

Gehlken reported Monday on a pivotal change in negotiations which led to Bosa inking a deal and reporting to the team:

A critical development in closing the cap between the two sides was a switching of the agent who led Bosa's negotiations, sources said. The change came after Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos went public last Wednesday, saying the team had made its best offer and agent Brian Ayrault turned it down. In the days that followed, a transfer occurred from Ayrault to Todd France, both of whom work for CAA and co-represent Bosa. "Good cop, bad cop," one source called it, referring to CAA's negotiation tactic.

The Chargers are heavily invested in Bosa, but this will be a worthwhile play if his on-field results from college are any indication. He was a consensus All-American at Ohio State in both 2014 and 2015 and was named the 2014 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He racked up 26 sacks in his three collegiate seasons, 13.5 of which came in the 2014 campaign, when the Buckeyes won the national championship.

Bosa isn't the fastest prospect in the 2016 draft class and ran a 4.86-second 40-yard dash at February's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but his explosiveness at the snap and his powerful bull rush help him make up for it on the edge of the defensive line. Bosa often commanded double- and even triple-teams at the college level, which opened up blitzing lanes for his teammates.

He is also capable of dropping back and covering near the line of scrimmage on passing plays if necessary.

There were some questions about whether Bosa would fit in the Chargers' base 3-4 defense, but Jared Dubin of CBS Sports suggested that shouldn't be a problem:

His best asset may in fact be his versatility, which should help him transition to playing in a 3-4. Because of his body type, his excellent technique, and his (excuse the cliche, please) football intelligence, he can play pretty much anywhere on the defensive line, and should be the type of player than can kick inside to tackle on passing downs, allowing the Chargers to get more rushmen on the field in those situations.

Bosa can move around along the defensive line as a weapon against the run on the inside or as an edge-rusher on the outside. He is also capable of playing upright as an outside linebacker and using his body control and overwhelming power as a blitzer on the outside with even more momentum as he starts attacking the quarterback away from the line of scrimmage.

What's more, the Chargers will likely play in four-down nickel or dime defensive sets a number of times throughout the season, which will free up Bosa to play his typical dominant role of pass-rushing defensive end who is capable of providing pressure on the inside or outside.

Fellow San Diego defensive lineman Corey Liuget was excited to play with Bosa, per Gehlken: "He's a relentless kind of player from what I can watch on his film. He has a motor. It's like he doesn't stop; he doesn't get tired. That's the kind of player I want next to me, a guy who doesn't get tired and that's going to give you everything he has."

That type of motor will help a Chargers defensive front that is desperately in need of some improvement. San Diego was a measly 27th in the league in rushing yards allowed in 2015 and was only 24th in total sacks. Pro Football Focus highlighted the fact Bosa should quickly fit into a lineup that should benefit from his overall skill set:

If the Ohio State product eventually develops into the same type of defensive force he was in college and helps a San Diego unit take strides this year and beyond, he will more than live up to his new rookie contract.

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