Joey Bosa

Extra Points: Packers, Jets, Chargers, Lions

The Packers have a huge season ahead of them. After an outstanding run of success, things got stale in Green Bay under Mike McCarthy, which resulted in his firing. The team desperately needs a boost of energy, and they’re hoping they found it in new coach Matt LaFleur. The 39-year-old is apparently wasting no time taking charge in his first offseason at the helm, as Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes that the young coach is “taking on an enormous load” during OTAs. Dougherty says that LaFleur is hovering around the quarterbacks and coaching them up at every opportunity, which he describes as a notable departure from McCarthy, who left that up to his quarterbacks coach.

LaFleur is apparently sitting in on all the quarterbacks meetings, and Aaron Rodgers importantly is happy with the way he’s being coached up. Dougherty writes that Rodgers “appears to be embracing” LaFleur’s hands-on approach. That’s surely music to the ears of Packers fans, but Dougherty does caution that there’s some level of concern about everything he’s putting on his own plate and how much his devotion to the quarterbacks “will take away from LaFleur’s panoramic view of the team once camp and the season start.” That being said, a reinvigorated Rodgers is by far the most important thing to the team right now, so it certainly doesn’t sound like a bad thing.

Here’s more from around the league on a quiet holiday weekend:

  • The Jets have had a drama-filled offseason, to say the least. Immediately after Mike Maccagnan was fired, reports began trickling out that Adam Gase didn’t want either of the Jets’ pricey free agent acquisitions, running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley. While the reports that Gase didn’t want the team to sign Bell have more or less been confirmed, it’s apparently not true that he didn’t want Mosley, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Cimini writes that Gase “was a strong proponent of signing Mosley,” and notes that Gase and Mosley even share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton. It sounds like the Jets have one less headache to worry about.
  • Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa has been a star ever since he entered the league. As a rookie he had 10.5 sacks despite missing the first four games of the season due to a contract holdout, and he’s been dominant off the edge ever since. But the Ohio State product was hobbled by a foot injury that cost him the nine games of last season, and he wasn’t quite the same after he returned. Speaking to the media recently after practice, Bosa conceded that the injury is still bothering him. “It’s just there. It’s just something I notice. It’s been getting better all offseason, so I could definitely see by camp or maybe even next year where it kind of starts fading away,” Bosa said, per Adam Maya of NFL.com. Foot injuries can be tricky, so it’s somewhat alarming that Bosa is still feeling soreness in his foot after this long, but Maya notes he did say it’s feeling “well enough for him to avoid a Lisfranc-type surgery.” This will be a situation to monitor this offseason.
  • Rookie tight ends often don’t play much right away. Tight end is widely regarded as the position that’s hardest to transition to from college to the pros, other than quarterback, and many take time to develop even if they’re drafted highly. It sounds like Lions rookie T.J. Hockenson could be an exception to that rule. Hockenson has looked good during OTAs, according to Tim Twentyman of the team’s official site, who notes that Detroit isn’t going to treat him with kid gloves, writing Hockenson will “see the field early and often.” The Lions got virtually nothing from their tight ends last season so they made it a priority to upgrade this offseason, signing Jesse James and drafting Hockenson eighth overall. It sounds like Hockenson is in line to start in his first season.

Chargers Exercise Joey Bosa’s Option

This is the definition of a no-brainer. The Chargers have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end Joey Bosa, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

[RELATED: 2020 Fifth-Year Option Decision Tracker]

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. Last year, Bosa missed the bulk of the season with a bone bruise, but still managed 5.5 sacks and 23 tackles in seven games.

It took a while for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft to put pen to paper, but he has blossomed into one of the league’s most terrifying edge rushers. He also serves as the signal caller of the Bolts’ defense. Simply put, Bosa is indispensable.

In 2020, Bosa will earn $14.360MM. After that, the Chargers will have to give Bosa a long-term deal at the top of the market or use the pricey franchise tag to stall. The Bolts, in theory, could use three consecutive franchise tags on Bosa, but it seems unlikely that he’d cooperate with a second tag and, even if he were willing to go with the flow, a third tag would be wildly expensive (assuming the tag system remains in place under the next collective bargaining agreement).

Speaking of the Bosa family, it sounds like Nick Bosa is a real possibility for the Cardinals at No. 1 overall. Even if Arizona passes on Bosa with the top choice, it’s unlikely that he’ll last long on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Joey Bosa To Return Today

It appears that Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa will finally make his 2018 debut. Bosa has been dealing with a bone bruise all season long, but after returning to the practice field earlier this week, the third-year pro will finally see game action as the Bolts host the division rival Broncos this afternoon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that his source would be “shocked” if Bosa does not play today (Twitter link).

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears the same thing, and he tweets that the number of snaps Bosa receives today will of course depend on how he feels. But Schefter noted that Bosa was part of the Chargers’ regular defensive rotation during practice, so he may even see close to a full workload.

In any event, Bosa’s return should be a huge boost to the 7-2 Chargers, who are still in the race for the AFC West title and who are certainly in the driver’s seat for a wildcard spot if nothing else. It is also particularly timely in light of the fact that Los Angeles just lost starting linebacker Denzel Perryman for the rest of the season.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option. He earned Pro Bowl honors last season and will further aid a pass rush that has still been pretty productive in his absence. The Chargers’ pass defense is the eighth-best in the league, per Football Outsiders’ advanced metrics, and the team has compiled 26 sacks, which is the 10th-highest total in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Returns To Practice

Joey Bosa could be nearing a return to the field. The star linebacker joined the Chargers for practice on Wednesday, albeit in a limited capacity. Bosa still may need time time to get in football shape, but it’s a positive development. 

[RELATED: Chargers’ Denzel Perryman Done For Year]

Bosa, 23, has been sidelined with a bone bruise all year long. Initially, doctors were hopeful that he would be able to suit up for Week 9, but the injury took longer than expected to heal.

The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season thanks in large part to Bosa, but they’ve somehow managed to stay afloat without him. The Bolts are 7-2 with their only losses coming against the Rams and Chiefs, two of the very best teams in the NFL.

In his first two NFL seasons, Bosa racked up a combined 23 sacks and 111 tackles. The Bolts have the former No. 3 overall pick under contract through 2019 and will control him through at least 2020 via the fifth year option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Gordon, Melvin, Marshall, Bosa

Josh Gordon has run afoul with a new team. The Patriots plan to discipline the oft-embattled wide receiver during tonight’s Bills game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), with tardiness at the root of the trade acquisition’s latest issue. New England will play without Gordon for a period of time tonight, around a quarter or “several series,” per Rapoport. Gordon showed up late to the Patriots’ facility on Sunday before the team left for Buffalo, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets. After Gordon rides the bench to start the game, Rapoport adds he’ll return to his normal workload tonight. This benching is part of the team’s effort to manage and work with the 27-year-old wideout, one who had rampant trouble in Cleveland on this and other off-field fronts. If Gordon was on a low-tolerance policy with the Patriots, this doesn’t help his cause.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on trade deadline eve:

  • Bruce Irvin and Karl Joseph are believed to be on the trade block during the Raiders‘ rebuild, and, perhaps unsurprisingly based on the way his season’s gone, so is cornerback Rashaan Melvin. The recently signed corner was a healthy scratch against the Colts on Sunday, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link) Melvin is available for a trade. Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM deal but drew Jon Gruden‘s public scrutiny after complaining about his role on the Raiders and the coaching staff’s style earlier this season. Melvin, 29, was a well-regarded Colts starter at this point last season and almost certainly will not be part of the 2019 Raiders.
  • Broncos plans to trade Brandon Marshall, if that was ever the case, look to have hit a snag. The longtime Denver starting linebacker now has a bone bruise in one of his knees and will likely miss time because of it, Denver7’s Troy Renck tweets. Marshall, whose contract makes him far from a lock he’ll be on next year’s Broncos, surfaced in trade rumors over the weekend. One of the handful of Denver starting defenders left over from Super Bowl 50, Marshall has been a full-time starter since 2014. He signed an extension in 2016, but that deal includes a $9MM cap number next year. Rookie Josey Jewell has played well in part-time duty as well, and the Broncos could get an early look at the fifth-round pick as a starter if Marshall is forced to miss time.
  • Joey Bosa could make his season debut on Sunday. At least, the Chargers haven’t ruled it out. Anthony Lynn said it was possible Bosa plays in Week 9, per Eric Williams of ESPN.com. Lynn said Bosa was getting closer. He’s missed seven Bolts games this season because of a bruised left foot, an injury he aggravated before Week 1. Lynn added he’s not ruling Melvin Gordon out, either.
  • The Texans followed through with their scheduled Brice Butler workout on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. In addition, Houston auditioned quarterback Brogan Roback, cornerback Craig Mager and wide receivers Amba Etta-Tawo and Steven Mitchell.

AFC Notes: Bell, Jags, Bosa, Michel

The Steelers are still hopeful that they can trade Le’Veon Bell and net a third-round pick or better in return before Tuesday’s deadline, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Bell, as we heard earlier this week, does not want to be traded, and given that he would need to sign his franchise tender before he can be dealt, he holds all the cards in that regard. La Canfora tweets that Bell (predictably) balked at returning to the Steelers on the exempt list, so there are still plenty of moving pieces to keep an eye on before this situation is finally resolved.

Now let’s take a quick swing around the AFC:

  • Blake Bortles played decently for the Jaguars during their loss in London today, but we heard earlier this week that the fifth-year pro is on a short leash after he was benched during last Sunday’s loss to the Texans. However, Albert Breer of TheMMQB observes that Bortles still took the lion’s share of first-team reps in practice this week (though Cody Kessler did get a few, as anticipated), so it does not appear that there is a quarterback competition at the moment.
  • La Canfora writes that the Jaguars were very much interested in Kirk Cousins last offseason and were prepared to offer him a significant free agent contract and move on from Bortles. However, they were not willing to meet the $30MM-per-year figure that Cousins ultimately got from the Vikings (they hoped to land him for something in the $20-24MM range). Instead, of course, they gave Bortles a pay-as-you-go, team-friendly extension, which allows the club the flexibility to move on this offseason if it so chooses.
  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is expected to return to the field for Jacksonville’s Week 10 matchup on November 11 against the Colts, per Schefter.
  • It does not appear as if the Chargers will get Joey Bosa back for their November 4 matchup against the Seahawks, as they had been hoping for some time. Although Bosa is making progress, Schefter writes that he is not “anywhere near ready to play right now.” It is unclear when Bosa will make his much-anticipated return to the field, but the wait will carry until at least the second week of November.
  • Sony Michel returned to practice for the Patriots yesterday, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. While Michel will not play in the team’s Monday night contest against the Bills tomorrow, he may be ready to go against the Packers next week. Reiss adds that New England could promote Kenneth Farrow from the taxi squad for tomorrow’s game in order to give themselves three healthy backs.
  • The relationship between Browns HC Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley is not improving, and one of the two could be relieved of his duties in short order.

West Notes: Broncos, Bosa, Henry, Seahawks

Yesterday, 28-year-old Brittany Bowlen publicly confirmed her interest in one day becoming the Broncos‘ controlling owner. As Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets, however, Bowlen’s interest had been known for some time, yesterday just marked the first time she went public with her feelings. Jhabvala also confirms that, if Bowlen does not become the controlling owner, the Pat Bowlen Trust will likely sell the club to an outside buyer.

Now let’s take a look at some more news and notes from the league’s west divisions:

  • Chargers DE Joey Bosa will make his debut on November 4 against the Seahawks, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. That is the return date that the team has been targeting for some time, and Bosa will obviously provide a huge boost to the team’s pass rush and playoff aspirations.
  • The news is not as good for Chargers TE Hunter Henry. Although there was some hope that Henry could return to the field this season, despite the fact that he tore his ACL in May, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the odds of that happening are quite slim.
  • La Canfora confirms a report from earlier this week that the Seahawks will eventually be sold in the wake of Paul Allen‘s death. Allen, who has no heirs and who did not intend to pass on the team to a specific person, did make plans and stipulations just the same. The NFL is reserving comment at this time and will allow the Seahawks to make Allen’s plans public when they choose to, but sources expect that the transfer of the team — likely for a price exceeding $2.3 billion — will take a similar course as the eventual sale of the Bills after Ralph Wilson‘s passing. In that case, Wilson had put a framework in place for the Bills to remain in Buffalo, and the team was ultimately sold to Terry Pegula, who already had strong ties to the region.
  • 49ers sixth-round draft pick Marcell Harris was cleared to begin practice this week, the team announced, making him eligible to return as early as Week 9 against the Raiders. The strong safety was placed on IR after the team’s final cutdown, but the team left open the possibility that he could play this year. The Niners must activate him before Nov. 7 for him to be eligible to play. If he does play this year, it will snap an inactive streak that has been ongoing since he suffered a torn Achilles at Florida.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Likely Out Until Week 9

It’ll be a while before the Chargers get defensive end Joey Bosa back in action. On Wednesday, Bosa told reporters that he likely will be out at least until his team’s bye week, which is Week 8. That timetable would put Bosa in line for a Week 9 return when the Chargers face the Seahawks on Nov. 4. 

Bosa had his cast removed this week and was expecting good news after having his protective boot removed. Unfortunately, he’s still experiencing instability in a major tendon, which means that he’ll need some more time to heal up.

The Chargers ranked third against the pass last season thanks in large part to Bosa, and they’ve clearly missed him in 2018. The Chargers are 1-2 after failing to provide adequate pressure against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Rams QB Jared Goff.

The good news for the Chargers is that their schedule gets significantly easier starting this week when they take on the Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Mahomes, Chiefs, Chargers, Bosa, Lions, Snead, NFL Draft

Patrick Mahomes is the talk of the NFL. He’s led the Chiefs to a 3-0 record and has been nearly flawless, tossing 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Now, more details are coming out about how Mahomes landed in Kansas City, and Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports has an insightful piece about the Chiefs’ process.

 Chiefs GM Brett Veach, at the time the team’s assistant GM, reportedly became infatuated with Mahomes in the months leading up to the draft. As a scout with the Eagles, he had banged the table for Andy Reid to draft Fletcher Cox, DeSean Jackon, and LeSean McCoy, so Reid trusted his judgment. Veach hounded Reid for months about his love for Mahomes and eventually won the coach over. The whole story is well worth a read and is full of interesting nuggets. It sounds like the Chiefs have the right leadership in place to be a force in the league for years to come.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Chargers star pass-rusher Joey Bosa will get the cast taken off his foot later today according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). While it’s a positive development for Los Angeles, Schefter cautions he still isn’t expected back until “sometime next month.”
  • Earlier this week the Lions re-signed veteran cornerback DeShawn Snead, and now the details are in. The contract is for just the veteran’s minimum, but will cost the Lions $2.3MM this season due to the dead money that came from cutting him the first time according to Chris Burke of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Virginia Tech has dismissed defensive lineman Trevon Hill from the team, an item of note for NFL draftniks. It’s “major draft news” according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com (Twitter link), who writes that Hill was “one of the better edge rushing prospects in the nation.”

Injury Notes: Wentz, Bosa, Mariota

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could be cleared for contact this week, and that may put him on track to make his 2018 debut in Week 3, as was suggested last Sunday. But Rapoport says the team is in no rush to have Wentz return to game action, because it is more concerned about the next 10 to 15 years, not the next 10 to 15 minutes. As such, if the Eagles need to keep Wentz out longer to make sure he is fully recovered from his torn ACL and LCL, they are fully committed to doing so.

However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Wentz is indeed on track to be back under center for the Eagles against the Colts next week, and he suggests that Philadelphia will have no issue in deploying Wentz as soon as he is cleared for contract.

Now let’s take a look at a few more reports concerning injuries to some of the league’s biggest names:

  • This is not much of a surprise given a report from earlier this week, but Schefter reports that Chargers DE Joey Bosa is expected to be sidelined until at least October. Bosa is continuing to rehab his foot with the hope that the swelling goes down and the foot stabilizes, but surgery is still very much in play if that does not happen.
  • Titans QB Marcus Mariota has not yet regained complete feeling in his fingers, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Schefter adds (via Twitter) that Mariota is still unable to grip the football normally as a result, which means that Blaine Gabbert may be starting under center for Tennessee for at least Week 2.
  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is unlikely to play against the Patriots today, per Schefter, but it sounds as though Fournette is making good progress in his recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered last week. Even if the second-year back is unable to suit up today, he could be back in action next week.
  • Rapoport confirms (via Twitter) a report from Tuesday that Panthers TE Greg Olsen is hoping to return much sooner than was originally anticipated when he fractured his foot in the team’s season-opening win over the Cowboys. Rapoport says that Olsen hopes to be back on the field in four to five weeks, and he will have the foot — the same one he broke last year — reevaluated after the season.
  • We received a status update on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers earlier today.