Joey Bosa Says $135M Chargers Contract Came Together 'Faster Than I Expected'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa plays against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 23-20.(AP Photo/James Kenney)
James Kenney/Associated Press

Even Joey Bosa was surprised at the expediency with which negotiations over his extension with the Los Angeles Chargers were concluded. 

"I'm very relieved it got done early," Bosa told reporters Monday. "It definitely came together a little faster than I expected. Once things were figured out with the Players Association (camp rules, return to play) it took a week."


Chargers' Joey Bosa says extension came together faster than he expected. @joereedy >> https://t.co/8xRFp3657o https://t.co/00WCBtWbOH

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bosa and the Chargers agreed to a five-year, $135 million deal, with his $102 million in guaranteed money setting a record for a defensive player.

The two-time Pro Bowler reflected on the factors that might have impacted his contract discussions with the Chargers:

Joe Reedy @joereedy

#Chargers Joey Bosa on if Miles Garrett's extension had a part in setting the benchmark: "I think it could have definitely had a part to play in it. My holdout my rookie year could also have had a part to play in it. ... Neither one of us wanted to butt heads."

The Cleveland Browns set the market for an elite young pass-rusher when they handed a five-year, $125 million extension with Myles Garrett. That gave Bosa's representatives something with which to work when figuring out the total value of his contract.

As Bosa said, Los Angeles might also have wanted to avoid the kind of prolonged standoff like the one that centered around his rookie deal. ESPN's Jim Trotter argued at the time the team was coming out the worst as it haggled over the finer details of his contract.

Bosa had earned a pay raise as he prepared for free agency in 2021. He has 40 sacks and 53 tackles for loss through 51 games with the Chargers.


Per @AdamSchefter, Joey Bosa signed 5-year and $135 million extension with the Chargers, including $102M guaranteed - a new NFL defensive record. Bosa is the highest-graded pass-rushing EDGE defender in the NFL (91.4) since 2017 https://t.co/41DHgufdiw

The 25-year-old had an easy decision in terms of his extension based on his total and guaranteed money. His $27 million average salary is also the highest for a defensive player, per Spotrac, eclipsing Garrett's $25 million average salary.

The Chargers couldn't exactly afford to risk putting themselves in a position where they could risk alienating one of their best players. A franchise still trying to build a following in its home city needs to do everything it can to retain homegrown stars.

Combine all of those factors and it shouldn't have been a surprise Bosa committed his future to L.A. before hitting the open market.

The only question now is whether he can remain the highest earner in the Bosa family for much longer.

His younger brother Nick isn't eligible to free agency until 2023 at the earliest, but based on his production as a rookie (47 tackles, nine sacks, one interception and one forced fumble) he might be in line for a record-setting extension from the San Francisco 49ers when the time comes.