The full Joey Bosa contract breakdown

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At first blush, the new contract for Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa looked great. On closer inspection, it’s spectacular.

Here are the full details of the deal Bosa signed this week, per a source with knowledge of the numbers.

1. Signing bonus: $35 million.

2. Fully-guaranteed roster bonus, due August 15: $7 million.

3. 2020 base salary: $1 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

4. 2021 base salary: $13.75 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

5. 2022 base salary: $21.25 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

6. 2023 base salary: $24 million, guaranteed for injury at signing, fully guaranteed as of the third day of the 2022 league year.

7. 2024 roster bonus: $7 million, due on the third day of the league year.

8. 2024 base salary: $15 million.

9. 2025 roster bonus: $8.36 million, due on the third day of the league year.

10. 2025 base salary: $17 million.

The $35 million signing bonus is second only to Aaron Donald among all defensive players; however, the $7 million roster bonus due in two weeks pushes the up-front take to $42 million for Bosa.

More significantly, Bosa becomes the first defensive player to get three years of compensation fully guaranteed at signing. That’s why the $78 million in full guarantees at signing lands at No. 4 all time, behind only Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, and Kirk Cousins.

Bosa’s fourth year likely will be guaranteed, given that the $24 million injury-only base salary for 2023 vests in 2022. To avoid owing him the extra $24 million, the Chargers will have to pay him $78 million for two seasons of football.

While it’s not a half-billion-dollar deal like the one signed by one of the quarterbacks Bosa will keep chasing, the early cash flow for Bosa blows away the Patrick Mahomes deal. For example, Mahomes received a $10 million signing bonus, $25 million less than Bosa. Also, Mahomes will receive $10.825 million in 2020; Bosa gets $43 million.

Through two years, Mahomes gets $33.6 million. Bosa, in contrast, gets $56.75 million. Through three years, Mahomes will make $63 million. Bosa will make $78 million.

Mahomes doesn’t catch Bosa in cash flow until 2023, when Mahomes will end up with $1 million more than Bosa. At that point, Bosa will be under contract for only two more years. Mahomes will be under contract for eight more years.

Bosa’s deal also compares favorably to the five-year, $125 million extension signed recently by Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. Over four years, Garrett ends up with $22.2 million less than Bosa. Garrett’s full guarantee at signing is a whopping $28 million less than Bosa’s.

Given the current climate, it’s an amazing deal. And, as we speculated when the deal was first done, Bosa’s lengthy 2016 holdout definitely influenced the Chargers to get the deal done and to not risk another battle with Bosa in what would have been the option year of his rookie deal.

14 responses to “The full Joey Bosa contract breakdown

  1. The league should just come out with a pay scale for players that deserve to get paid. But the league makes sure that the structure of the contract is team friendly, won’t damage their cap at the same time rewarding. star player. Some teams get it and some don’t. They created the rookie wage scale to end holdouts. do the same with star players looking for the big payday on contract number two. it would make it so easier and players would know in advance, I do this good, I get this. It allows fans to to feel good knowing some knucklehead and zealous GM won’t screw up the cap by offering whackadoo contract.

  2. So much for the threat he made four years ago after the Chargers management refused to guarantee his rookie contract. He said at the time this would majorly impact his decision to resign with the team when his contract ended. I guess not.

  3. We’ll see more deals like this that only show how bad of a deal Mahomes signed to. He got caught up in the moment and got hosed!

  4. That is a lot money for a guy who is only third best Ohio State defensive end alum: The best, by far, is Chase Young obviously. But even his brother is better. Joey made out like a bandit.

  5. The Chargers over paid.
    And before you say “Good for Bosa” remember that the salary cap is a zero sum game.
    So by overpaying they are denying lower paid players employment.

    Bosa is a great player, but is he worth THAT high a salary?
    I think not.
    The only justification I can think is they have a QB on a rookie deal, and that has freed up $30 million in cap space per year for 4 years.
    But if he’s not a good QB, they are stuck with a hugely expensive contract and still have to draft a QB.

  6. broncos – Mahomes got a deal for a half of a BILLION dollars. That’s BILLION with a “B”. In no is that getting “hosed”. Mahomes did great.

  7. Jurgy – Chase Young has not played in the NFL yet. Many grat college players have fallen flat when they went to the NFL.

    Chase will likely be good, but to call him better than Bosa, when Bosa has proven himself in the NFL, is silly.

  8. Bosa has yet to show his true worth. Mahomes has an MVP and a super bowl to show his worth.

    There’s no comparison. No recent signing of top defensive players has yet to get a team to the promise land. Mack, Garrett, Bosa, and Donald all got huge deals and none of their teams are close to a SB.

    Mahomes clearly took a team friendly deal, and because of that Chris Jones took less, a 4 year contract, and a team friendly contract too. Sammy Watkins took a restructured deal and others will hopefully follow. But for 2 more years KC has their key players locked up.

    So Bosa’s deal is great, but what does it do for the future of the team?

  9. He’s got a great agent. I like Bosa but it will be very hard for any non QB to make a big enough impact to be worth that much of the cap total. Congrats to him for getting paid though, you’d have to be insane not to take what the Chargers offered here.

  10. The big problem is that SB wins are great for the league and for the TV rights value but winning or not winning a SB means very little at the individual NFL player’s contract size. Stats mean plenty and good play, age, and health determine that amount.

  11. Over the next couple years the Chiefs will be signing higher quality players while the Chargers will be struggling to stay under the cap. Mahomes went into his contract saying up front he wants the TEAM to be able to sign good players.

    All team all the time. KC Chiefs

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