Los Angeles Chargers 2020

Chargers Sign Bosa

Chargers Sign Bosa to Record Contract

When asked recently if he had spoken with defensive end Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco mentioned that he had not. When asked if he talked to Bosa's agent recently, Telesco stated: "Nobody's called me about anything." If that is true, they sure made up for lost time on Tuesday, the first day of training camp. Bosa reported to camp on Tuesday and by the end of the day, he had a contract extension.

The Chargers made Joey Bosa the highest paid defensive player in NFL history with a massive five-year, $135 million extension, with $78 million fully guaranteed at signing. Coupled with the $14.36 million Bosa was due to make in 2020, it is a six-year deal with a value at signing of almost $25 million per year. There had been a feeling that Bosa, who was in the last year of his rookie contract, might hold out for a contract extension.

If you want to see a road map for the Chargers future, you need to go back to the end of the 2019 regular season. The Chargers were ready to move on from running back Melvin Gordon and quarterback Philip Rivers, and not because they could not perform at a high level anymore. It was more about the salary cap and clearing up enough salary cap space to sign players like Bosa.

Gordon signed a 2-year, $16,000,000 million dollar contract with the Denver Broncos, including a $4,000,000 million dollar signing bonus, with $13,500,000 million guaranteed. Rivers signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts worth $25 million. The Chargers simply could not afford to keep both and pay other key players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

The Chargers have just over $13 million on their salary cap tied up with their three quarterbacks (Tyrod Taylor, Justin Herbert, Easton Stick). They have $6.5 million tied up with their three running backs (Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Josh Kelly). The Chargers do not have a lot of money tied up at these two key positions for the next four years.

Getting the Bosa contract out of the way will make it easier to focus on some key future free agents. Wide receiver Keenan Allen, tight end Hunter Henry, cornerback Desmond King, defensive end Melvin Ingram, quarterback Taylor, linebacker Denzel Perryman and center Mike Pouncey will all be free agents at the end of the 2020 season.

While Bosa is for now the highest paid defensive player in NFL History, he may not be the best defensive player on the Chargers. That honor may belong to safety Derwin James, who will be seeking a hefty pay increase when he nears the end of his current rookie contract. But that is a concern for next season. For now, the Chargers are going to rely on their defense, led by James and Bosa, to clear their path to the playoffs in 2020.

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