Joey Bosa Thankful for Contract Extension with Chargers
Last Tuesday was the day that every Chargers player had waited for; check-in day for training camp at the Irvine Marriott. The players had until 5 p.m. to check-in and get tested for COVID-19.
A specific player sat in the parking lot, away from the entrance. Then he got the call he had been waiting for all summer.
"I got the call saying it was done," explained Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa on his contract extension. "It was hard to contain my emotions coming in there and getting the swab (COVID testing). It helped that I had a mask on probably because I was smirking underneath my mask walking in there."
After the COVID-19 test, Bosa was seen on Chargers social media, saying, "I made it," trying to hide his excitement behind his mask knowing he had just become a $100 million man.
Bosa said that he called his parents on his way home to give them the news about his new deal.
"A lot of screaming," chuckled Bosa. "A lot of colorful language that I can't repeat, but it was a great moment. I told him 'stop you are making me cry.'"
Then he face-timed his younger brother, Nick, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers.
He said that his family told him how proud they were of him, which means the world to the former Ohio State Buckeye. He said many people reached out to him, and the common theme was, "you deserve it."
He knew he did after racking up 40 sacks in 51 career games adding 82 quarterback hits and 53 tackles for loss.
The Chargers gave Bosa a new five-year deal worth $135 million, with $102 million guaranteed making him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
On Monday afternoon, Bosa had a zoom call with the media, and he started it off by thanking the Spanos family and Chargers GM Tom Telesco for having enough faith in him to reward him with a record-breaking contract.
"I think they have seen the body of work I have put in," said Bosa about management. "I don't think either of us wanted to butt heads. I certainly didn't want to go anywhere else. I am super happy here. I am happy with this team. I am happy with the coaches that I have."
A lot has changed in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, but Bosa said he has continued working out and improving his technique. He worked out with his brother during the offseason like they always do. He said having two of the best pass rushers in the game can help take both of their games to a whole new level.
Bosa told reporters that there is no doubt that his baby brother will take over the mantel of the "highest-paid defensive player in the NFL" when it is his turn to sign his next contract.
Now Bosa knows this season is going to be different. There was no in-person OTAs and minicamp, which he said he loves. The team will also be moving into a massive $6 billion stadium in Inglewood, but it will not be filled with screaming fans.
"I am super excited to play there (SoFi Stadium)," Bosa said. "Obviously it would be great to have fans screaming in a beautiful new stadium. There is always next year we can get them in. I know they will be itching to go."
He is optimistic about the possibility of fans maybe being there for the second half of the season but knows that safety is first.
"I think the most responsible team is going to be the team that's wins," said Bosa. "It's going to take for guys not to get too comfortable. For guys to hold themselves accountable."
The former Buckeye knows what he has around him. On the opposite side, he has pro bowl defensive end Melvin Ingram, whom Bosa says together they are one of if not the best duo in the NFL. Next to him, he has defensive tackle Justin Jones, whom Bosa sees as a breakout player and veteran Linval Joseph. At linebacker, the Chargers traded up for Kenneth Murray for a reason; he can cover sideline to sideline and has instincts you can't teach. In the secondary, the team has third-year safety Derwin James, pro bowlers' cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Casey Hayward waiting for the quarterback to make a mistake.
"Hopefully knock on wood (Bosa actually knocks on wood) we stay healthy out there," explained Bosa. "If we get that group out there, it's going to be dangerous."