Home US SportsNFL Chargers’ Joey Bosa thankful, relieved with record extension

Chargers’ Joey Bosa thankful, relieved with record extension

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Joey Bosa expressed gratitude and relief Monday that he will enter his fifth NFL season with a five-year, $135 million contract extension from the Los Angeles Chargers.

But, for at least a few minutes before he reported for coronavirus testing last week, Bosa seemed uncertain that a deal would be reached after only a week of negotiations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It definitely came together a little faster than I expected,” Bosa said during a video conference with reporters.

Bosa revealed that he sat inside his parked car near the Chargers’ reporting site, out of view of team personnel, last Tuesday for about 10 minutes as his agent continued to negotiate a new deal.

“I have a bright blue car, so they would have seen me from 10 miles away if I had pulled up into the parking lot of the hotel, so I was parked off to the side and I got that call that it was done and it was hard to contain my emotions,” Bosa said.

Bosa arrived only a few minutes before the reporting deadline and provided no hint that he agreed to an extension that included $102 million guaranteed, a record for defensive players.

“Coming in there getting a swab, it probably helped that I had a mask on, probably, because it was — I had the biggest smirk underneath my mask walking in there,” Bosa said. “I was like, ‘Hey guys, I made it’ and I kind of got the swabs and walked out and after that a rush kind of came over me and I made calls to my parents and all that. It was very emotional.”

Bosa declined to say if he planned to hold out if an agreement was not reached.

His record-breaking deal came less than two weeks after Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Myles Garrett agreed to a five-year deal that included a then-NFL record for defensive players $100 million guaranteed.

Bosa credited Garrett, in part, as well as his own decision to hold out before his rookie season because of contract negotiations, for getting a deal done quickly and with relative ease.

“They know that I know what I bring to the table and I know my own value and I think they’ve seen the body of work that I’ve put in and I don’t think either of us wanted to butt heads,” said Bosa, the third overall pick in 2016. “I don’t know how much of a factor it had, but I’m sure it played a small part.”

Bosa also says that he doesn’t expect to hold the record for long, especially with his younger brother, Nick, starring for the San Francisco 49ers. “It will probably be a short-lived record,” Bosa said. “Which is great because I’m happy to just set the bar and maybe my brother in a few years will surpass me, I’m sure of that.”

As a rookie last season, Nick Bosa recorded nine sacks and earned Pro Bowl recognition.

Over the next six seasons, the Chargers expect Joey Bosa, who has 40 sacks in 49 career starts, to anchor a defense that they’ve recently invested in.

The Chargers signed All Pro cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph each to two-year, $17 million contracts and traded up in the NFL draft to select Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray with the 23rd overall pick.

The Chargers also return standout defensive backs Casey Hayward, Desmond King and Derwin James and defensive end Melvin Ingram this season.

“I feel confident saying if we’re not the best, we’re definitely one of the best,” said Bosa, when asked if he and Ingram should be considered the best pass-rushing duo in the league. “When we’re both healthy out there, rushing at our best, it’s hard to stop, it’s hard to account for.”

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