Joey Bosa

Joey Bosa Restructures Chargers Contract

The Chargers entered Wednesday needing to free up cap space ahead of the new league year. They did so by releasing Mike Williams, but edge rusher Khalil Mack remained in place via a restructure. Fellow defensive end Joey Bosa will take the latter route as well.

Bosa has agreed to a re-worked Chargers pact, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. As a result, his 2024 cap figure will be lowered and he will remain in place for at least one more season. The former third overall pick was one of four players set to count more than $32MM against the cap in 2024, with a projected charge of $36.6MM. Converting the maximum amount allowable of Bosa’s $15MM base salary into a signing bonus would create $10.4MM in savings.

Given the team’s financial situation leading into free agency, it was widely expected the Chargers would cut or trade at least one member of the quartet set to occupy a major portion of their cap space (the three aforementioned players and wideout Keenan Allen). Mack and Bosa were reported as the ones Los Angeles was most likely to move on from, and the team spoke with potential suitors to gauge their markets. Any deal would not have come at market value, of course, given the contract an acquiring team would have taken on. New general manager Joe Hortiz has thus elected to run back the Mack-Bosa tandem in 2024.

The latter was due a $7MM roster bonus tomorrow, leading to urgency on Hortiz’s part to work out Bosa’s future despite the cap relief brought about by moving on from Williams and restructuring Mack. As The Athletic’s Daniel Popper reports, at least one team showed interest in trading for the four-time Pro Bowler before today’s move was worked out (subscription required). Rather than moving on with two years left on his contract, Los Angeles will keep him in place for a ninth season with the franchise.

Bosa has been limited to just 14 games over the past two seasons, so questions will be asked about his ability to remain healthy moving forward. The Ohio State alum has posted nine sacks in that span, after reaching double-digits four times in a season earlier in his career. At age 28, however, he should be able to continue playing at a high level with better luck on the injury front. The Chargers’ defense would benefit substantially if that were to be the case.

Los Angeles entered Thursday in worse cap shape than any other team in the NFL, per Over the Cap. That situation will change given today’s move with Bosa, but it will be interesting to see if another cost-clearing move is made with an Allen restructure. In any event, much more clarity has arrived for the team’s veteran nucleus compared to where things stood at the start of free agency.

Patriots Inquire About Chargers’ Trade Candidates; Latest On Bolts’ Plans

The Chargers sit in their own space regarding cap room. As of Wednesday morning, only three teams are over the cap. But only the Bolts are more than $2MM over. Jim Harbaugh‘s team remains $25.2MM over the cap, and the deadline for cap compliance looms in less then five hours.

The team has not made a move involving the contracts of Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams or Khalil Mack. These four pillars double as the Chargers’ top cap hits, with 2023 restructures creating big 2024 numbers. All four check in beyond the $32MM place, putting the Chargers in crunch time as they begin the Harbaugh era.

The team has until 3pm CT to move under the $255.4MM cap, creating one of the more interesting salary situations in years. As OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald points out, the Bolts have four of the top 12 cap hits in the NFL.

Conversations about trades have taken place, and the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed notes the Patriots have discussed at least some of these trade candidates with the Bolts. New England features needs at both receiver and edge defender, though the team has done some work on those fronts in free agency. Kendrick Bourne and Josh Uche are returning for the Pats, but neither player’s resume comes particularly close to any of the Bolts’ trade chips.

This Pats news comes as they are pursuing Calvin Ridley. The team has made an offer to the recent Jaguars 1,000-yard receiver. A Ridley pickup would seemingly move an Allen or Williams acquisition off the table. The Pats still have Matt Judon under contract, with Uche back as a sidekick — albeit one on the inconsistent side — for at least the 2024 season. If the Patriots were to acquire Bosa or Mack, the team would certainly not run out a Judon-Uche starting duo.

New England still holds more than $59MM in cap space, leaving the team capable of absorbing one of the Los Angeles contracts. The Bolts are widely expected to trade at least one of these contracts (possibly more) today, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske tweets. A trade or release transaction involving one of this foursome should be expected, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes.

The Chargers’ cap situation will make teams less inclined to fork over major assets here, as the league knows the Bolts will have to cut a player or two if no trade can come to pass. That said, a team that does not like its chances of landing one of these players on the open market could be well served to make a trade, and the Bolts have been open to that for a bit now.

All four players are tied to deals at or north of $20MM per year. Allen, 31, has been with the Chargers since 2013. Bosa, 28, has spent eight seasons with the team. Both are among the top players at their respective positions. Mack, 33, qualifies for such a classification as well; he bounced back in a big way last season, totaling a career-high 17 sacks. Williams, 29, missed most of last season with an ACL tear. The former top-10 pick’s injury history will certainly limit his trade appeal. One season remains on Mack, Williams and Allen’s contracts; Bosa is signed through 2025.

Chargers Open To Trading OLBs Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack

MARCH 10: Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated confirms the Chargers have had “exploratory trade talks” concerning not only Bosa and Mack, but also both members of the Allen-Williams receiver tandem. Of those, Breer unsurprisingly notes Allen is the likeliest to stay, something which matches the veteran’s comments on his future. Still, a cost-shedding move of some kind could be coming soon on Los Angeles’ part.

MARCH 9: According to, the Chargers have the second-least amount of cap space in the NFL with only the Dolphins exceeding the salary cap by more than Los Angeles. They’re currently $21.14MM over the salary cap and are set to eat $27.31MM of dead money in 2024, also second-most in the NFL.

As a result, it appears the Chargers are exploring options to clear some cap space while potentially bringing in a bit of draft capital, as well. Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports that the team is currently “open to trade offers for many veteran players including Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.”

Mack and Bosa currently make up the team’s largest two cap hits at $38.52MM and $36.61MM, respectively. Trading those two players alone, the team would be able to clear out $23.25MM (Mack) and $14.39MM (Bosa) of cap savings, though the team would be eating $15.27MM (Mack) and $22.22MM (Bosa) of dead money in the deals. The report from Russini also says “many veteran players,” though, and the next three biggest cap hits on the roster are veteran receivers Keenan Allen ($34.72MM) and Mike Williams ($32.46MM) and safety Derwin James ($19.86MM).

Would the Chargers really get rid of quarterback Justin Herbert‘s top two targets? Allen has been one of the league’s more consistent producers since 2017, as long as he stays on the field. Over that time, Allen has averaged around 75 yards per game and can usually deliver six to eight touchdowns. He’s missed 40 of a possible 179 career games, including 11 in the past two seasons, but despite four missed games in 2023, Allen averaged a career-high 95.6 yards per game and scored seven touchdowns at 31 years old.

Williams has also missed his fair share of games (27 of a possible 115), including 14 games missed with a torn ACL in 2023. When healthy, Williams has established himself as a strong WR2, twice surpassing 1,000 receiving yards and twice surpassing nine receiving touchdowns. Williams struggles to provide the same consistency as Allen but is still a strong contributor. If traded, Allen would provide $23.1MM of cap savings and result in $11.62MM of dead money, while a trade of Williams could provide $20MM of cap savings and result in $12.46MM of dead money.

James is yet another high-cost player who has struggled to stay on the field in his career. After appearing in every game as a rookie, James has missed 33 of a possible 83 games since. Despite leading the team in tackles this year, James had the worst NFL season of his career, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), grading out as the 71st best safety out of 95 graded players. Before this season, James hadn’t graded out worse than 12th. He showed decent pass rush and run defense in 2023, but graded out poorly in coverage. A James-trade would need to be a post-June 1 transaction. If traded pre-June 1, James would still cost the Chargers $1.46MM of cap space, while a post-June 1 designation would save the team $12.75MM of cap space.

Those players are all question marks, but Mack and Bosa have been blatantly named. Bosa started his career as one of the league’s most electric pass rushers with 23.0 sacks in his first two years, despite missing four games his rookie year. While he still threatens to put up double-digit sacks each year, he has to stay on the field in order to do so, and he has missed half the season three times in his career, including the most recent two seasons. If his physical shows the potential for a full return to form, he could fetch a high price in trade talks.

Los Angeles will try to sell high on Mack, who had a career year at 32 years old. Mack was a world-beater early in his career, racking up 40.5 sacks and a Defensive Player of the Year award with the Raiders. Though his production dipped a bit after getting traded to Chicago, Mack still made three straight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams as a Bear. Mack was traded once again to the Chargers in 2022, and after a decent first season in LA, Mack delivered a career-high 17.0 sacks in 2023, his first time delivering double-digit sacks since his first year in Chicago in 2018.

It’s unclear just how much Los Angeles is willing to part with this spring. Clearly, “many veteran players” have been advertised as available, including Mack and Bosa, but it’s hard to say just how many of those high-cap players will be shipped out. There are other ways to try and lower the players’ cap impacts, like restructures to current deals, but the easiest way may be to clear them off your books (for the most part) and get something in return. It will be interesting to see how much the Chargers are willing to give up in order to rebuild around Herbert.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa Returns To Practice

The Chargers’ season is all but over, but the team should be welcoming back their defensive star for the stretch run. According to The Athletic’s Daniel Popper, the Chargers have designated pass-rusher Joey Bosa to return from injured reserve.

Bosa landed on injured reserve in late-November after suffering a foot sprain. The Pro Bowler was seen crying as he was carted into the locker room during that Week 11 loss, leading some to believe he could be done for the season. However, it sounds like Bosa will at least try to return in 2023, although his 21-day window for activation exceeds the days left in the regular season.

The Chargers have three games remaining on their schedule. The team has lost three of their four games since Bosa went down, including a 42-point loss to the Raiders that ultimately led to the ousting of head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco.

In his nine games this season, Bosa has compiled 6.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, and six QB hits. The veteran has played much of the season with a broken toe, an injury that forced him to miss one game. This is the second-straight season that Bosa has landed on injured reserve, with the 28-year-old missing 12 games in 2022 thanks to a core muscle injury.

Bosa has also missed chunks of game in five of his eight NFL seasons. In his three healthiest seasons, he’s compiled a total 34.5 sacks.

Chargers Place Joey Bosa On IR

Joey Bosa is set to miss some time. The Chargers pass rusher has been diagnosed with a foot sprain and will likely be placed on injured reserve, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Bolts have since announced the move.

This move would keep Bosa off the field for at least four weeks; he’ll be first eligible to return in Week 16. This will run Bosa’s career absence count to 34 games. While the standout edge rusher has suited up for 16 contests in three separate seasons, he has missed extended time in other campaigns.

Bosa was carted to the locker room during yesterday’s game against the Packers. He was initially listed as questionable before being downgraded to out. Bosa was visibly upset while exiting the game, and head coach Brandon Staley later said it was “to be determined” if Bosa would miss the rest of the campaign, so Chargers fans were surely preparing for the worst.

This injury comes at a poor time for Bosa. As Daniel Popper of The Athletic writes, the star pass rusher was just getting back to full health after dealing with a hamstring injury and left big toe fracture earlier this season. Despite the veteran ramping up, he was still plenty productive, collecting 6.5 sacks through nine games.

Unfortunately, injuries have been an ongoing theme throughout Bosa’s career. The pass rusher was limited to only five games in 2022 thanks to a groin injury, and through the first seven seasons of his career, Bosa missed 30 regular season contests.

Khalil Mack has been having a standout season for the Chargers, and the team will lean on the linebacker even more with Bosa sidelined. Second-round rookie Tuli Tuipulotu will also take on a larger role with his teammate injured.

NFL Injury Roundup: Packers, Bosa, Becton

The Packers were down to just one healthy running back today when both starting running back Aaron Jones and undrafted rookie third-stringer Emanuel Wilson were ruled out of today’s win over the Chargers after both sustained injuries in the team’s final drive of the first half.

After Jones exited the game with a knee injury, Green Bay’s big-bodied AJ Dillon came in to take over for Jones. A few plays later, Wilson came in to spell Dillon for two plays. On the second play, Wilson was pushed out of bounds, where he sustained the injury that would hold him out for the remainder of the contest. While not very effective, Dillon would take over the rushing load for the rest of the day. The rushing game did get a little extra boost thanks to a 32-yard touchdown run from wide receiver Jayden Reed before the two backs were knocked out.

After the game had ended, head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that he didn’t believe the injury to Jones’ knee would be a long-term ailment, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. If Jones or Wilson are forced to miss any time, though, the only in-house option is rookie practice squad running back Ellis Merriweather.

Here are a couple other injury updates from today’s games:

  • Chargers star pass rusher Joey Bosa was ruled out of today’s loss to the Packers with a foot injury. It was a dire-looking scene as Bosa was carted off the sideline in tears. While no official diagnosis has been released, Bosa was seen on the sideline later with crutches and a walking boot on his right foot, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper.
  • In the afternoon slate, the Jets got off to a rough start in their divisional matchup when starting left tackle Mekhi Becton left the game, walking gingerly off the field on the team’s third drive. He would eventually be carted off to the locker room for further evaluation, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Becton was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a suspected high ankle sprain.

Restructure Details: Bolts, Bucs, Bills, Jets

Teams continue to be aggressive in creating cap space ahead of Wednesday’s start to the 2023 league year, when franchises must be in compliance with the new $224.8MM salary cap. Here are the latest moves teams made to get there:

  • Reasonable Chargers activity in free agency should be expected. The team that began the week well over the cap has now created more than $40MM in space over the past couple of days. Following the moves to restructure Keenan Allen and Mike Williams‘ contracts, Field Yates of tweets the team created $25.99MM by tweaking Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack‘s deals. Mack’s 2023 cap number drops by $10.8MM, while OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald adds Bosa’s drops by $15.2MM. Bosa’s 2024 number ballooned to $36.6MM because of the move. That will, then, necessitate more maneuvering down the line. The Bosa, Mack, Allen and Williams moves have created a total of $40.37MM in space, Lindsey Thiry of tweets. They are now more than $19MM under the cap.
  • In completing four restructures, the Buccaneers have now created more than $44MM in cap space. They redid the deals of Vita Vea, Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen and Carlton Davis, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Bucs have moved to being barely $5MM over the cap, after beginning March at nearly $60MM north of the salary ceiling. Cuts of Leonard Fournette, Cameron Brate and Donovan Smith have helped the team along the way as well. That said, Fournette and Brate cannot be released until after the start of the league year, Greg Auman of Fox Sports notes (on Twitter). The Bucs being unable to realize those savings until after 3pm Wednesday will force them to find a few other ways to create that space.
  • The Jets adjusted the deals of Laken Tomlinson, D.J. Reed and Tyler Conklin — all free agency additions from 2022 — to create $15.2MM in cap space, Yates tweets. Still working to land Aaron Rodgers, the Jets are now $11.5MM under the cap.
  • The Raiders are among the leaders in cap space, but Yates tweets they adjusted Maxx Crosby‘s deal to create $7.5MM in additional funds. Las Vegas holds more than $43MM in cap space, sitting third overall ahead of free agency.
  • Bills defensive tackle Tim Settle agreed to a $600K pay cut for 2023, Yates adds (on Twitter). The 2022 free agency addition still has $2.1MM in guaranteed money for 2023, with the Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran adding Settle can earn up to $4.41MM this year via incentives. The Bills are moving closer to the deadline with a lot of work left ahead; they are more than $19MM over the cap.
  • The Vikings and swing backup O-lineman Chris Reed agreed to a renegotiated deal that trims his cap number by around $1MM, per Yates. Minnesota still has work to do ahead of the cap-compliance deadline, sitting more than $7MM over the cap.

Chargers Activate Joey Bosa From IR

DECEMBER 31: The second player to be activated from IR only two days after being designated to return, Bosa was officially activated by the Chargers today in time for tomorrow’s contest against the cross-town Rams. After clinching a playoff spot last week, this gives Bosa a two-week period to get back up to full speed before the postseason begins.

In order to make room for Bosa on the active roster, Los Angeles waived running back Sony Michel. Michel has been the team’s third running back behind workhorse starter Austin Ekeler and backup Joshua Kelley. Ekeler plays significant time in the Chargers backfield as the both the team’s top rusher and most talented receiving back. Michel became an easy expense on a roster with a more established backup in Kelley and a backup with more youth in rookie fourth-round pick Isaiah Spiller.

In addition to those two roster moves, the Chargers have promoted defensive lineman David Moa and running back Larry Rountree from the practice squad as standard gameday elevations for Sunday.

DECEMBER 29: The seventh-year pass rusher will begin practicing Thursday. The Chargers have made the official transaction, starting Bosa’s IR-return clock. Bosa said the core issue the surgery addressed had plagued him for years, via The Athletic’s Daniel Popper (on Twitter).

DECEMBER 26: Again riddled with injuries to high-profile players, the Chargers are on track to have one of them back in uniform soon. Brandon Staley has floated the possibility of Joey Bosa and Rashawn Slater playing again this season. Bosa looks to get there first.

The Chargers are expected to have Bosa back at practice this week, according to Ian Rapoport and Bridget Condon of (video link). The Pro Bowl pass rusher has been out since suffering a groin injury in Week 3. Bosa’s return has gained steam in recent weeks, and the Bolts appear finally ready to see what he looks like in practice. From the day Bosa begins practicing, the Chargers will have three weeks to activate him from IR.

While Bosa has dealt with injuries at several points during his career, this has been his most significant. The four-time Pro Bowler will have missed 12 Bolts games after tonight’s Colts matchup — one that can secure the team its first playoff berth in four years with a win — and has been one of several Charger Pro Bowlers to miss time this year.

The Bolts have Slater and J.C. Jackson on IR, while Keenan Allen, Derwin James and Corey Linsley have also missed stretches of the season. Ditto Mike Williams and most of the team’s defensive line. But the team that again generated considerable offseason momentum is moving closer toward its optimal version. Allen, Linsley and Williams have been back for weeks, and James returns tonight.

Bosa’s latest injury required surgery, and he has been rehabbing for months. It is not believed the former No. 3 overall pick will be 100% again until next season, but the Chargers clearly feel comfortable seeing how he looks ahead of a possible activation. Bosa missed four games as a rookie in 2016 (hamstring), was shut down for nine during the 2018 season (foot) and missed four more contests in 2020 (two concussions). He made a late-season return in 2018, when the Bolts last qualified for the playoffs, and is looking to re-emerge in similar fashion this year.

Still just 27, Bosa is attached to a monster contract — agreed to back in 2020 — and has four double-digit sack seasons on his resume. The Chargers only had two full games to deploy he and Khalil Mack together. After missing much of last season with a foot injury, Mack has stayed healthy this season. Bosa coming back would certainly help the former Defensive Player of the Year, who has been the focal point of offensive line attention for much of his first Chargers season. Mack has seven sacks, 10 quarterback hits and two forced fumbles this season — his seventh Pro Bowl campaign.

Chargers Plan To Activate Joey Bosa From IR

A Joey Bosa ramp-up period does not seem to be in the cards for the Chargers. Despite the perennial Pro Bowl pass rusher missing 12 games and only being designated for return Thursday, the Bolts are preparing to activate him from IR for Week 17.

Brandon Staley said the plan is for Bosa to play this week against the Rams, per’s Bridget Condon (on Twitter). Bosa has been out since Week 3 because of a groin injury that required surgery.

The seventh-year defender said this week he has dealt with this issue for a while and indicated upon his return to practice he felt better than he has in years. Bosa has dealt with a number of injuries since the Bolts drafted him third overall in 2016, but this year’s absence has been the longest. The Chargers have managed to recover from their injury-affected swoon, however, and are playoff-bound for the first time since 2018 — Bosa’s previous year with a major injury.

Bosa missed four games as a rookie in 2016 (hamstring), was shut down for nine during the 2018 season (foot) and missed four more contests in 2020 (two concussions). Despite being often sidetracked by injuries, the former Ohio State star has four double-digit sack seasons on his resume. His return to anchor Los Angeles’ pass rush will certainly enhance the Bolts’ chances of being a major factor in the playoffs.

The Chargers, who only had the chance to play Bosa and Khalil Mack together for two full games, have picked up the pace in quarterback pressure recently. They sacked Nick Foles seven times Monday night and recorded four in a last-second win over the Titans in Week 15. Mack has a team-high eight sacks, making the Pro Bowl for a seventh time, while both Morgan Fox and Drue Tranquill hit the five-sack mark in Indianapolis. The supporting-casters have 11.5 combined sacks this season, with Tranquill putting together an interesting stat line that includes five sacks and 129 tackles.

Much of the injury trouble the Chargers have encountered is in the rear-view mirror. Justin Herbert, who suffered a rib injury in Week 2, has played better over the past several weeks. Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams have returned from their earlier health issues as well. The Chargers have not opened Rashawn Slater‘s practice window yet, but their left tackle returning from an early-season biceps injury remains in play.

Derwin James had missed time but returned for the Chargers-Colts tilt. However, he was ejected for leading with his helmet on a first-half tackle. Both James and the player he tackled, Indianapolis wideout Ashton Dulin, sustained concussions on the play. Both are out for Week 17.

Chargers DE Joey Bosa Expected To Begin Practicing

The 6-6 Chargers, who are on the outside of the AFC playoff picture as of the time of this writing, may soon welcome back one of their best players. Per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Bolts will evaluate defensive end Joey Bosa early this week with the expectation that he will begin practicing on Wednesday (video link).

Bosa, 27, exited Los Angeles’ Week 3 loss to the Jaguars early due to a groin injury that ultimately required surgery. The team hoped that offseason acquisition Khalil Mack and Bosa would combine to form one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass-rushing duos, and while Mack has mostly lived up to expectations — seven sacks and a 74.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus — Bosa’s absence has clearly hurt. The Chargers’ 22 sacks are the fifth-fewest in the league, and the team is near the bottom of the pack in total defense (though the Bolts were not much better in that regard in 2021 either).

Once Bosa begins practicing, the team will have three weeks from that date to activate him off of injured reserve. The most recent reporting on the matter suggested that Bosa’s injury would prevent him from returning to his typical level of performance this year, but a mostly-healthy Bosa should still benefit a struggling defense. As long as the Chargers remain in playoff contention, they will likely give the four-time Pro Bowler every chance to see game action.

Bosa has run into several maladies that have required absences over the course of his career. He missed four games as a rookie in 2016 (hamstring), was shut down for nine during the 2018 season (foot), and missed four more contests in 2020 (two concussions). His 2022 IR stint is part of a long list of health woes that have thus far undermined the fortunes of a club that entered the season with a reloaded defense and championship aspirations.

In what has become a frustrating refrain for Chargers fans, Los Angeles has once again lost key players on both sides of the ball for extended periods of time. Even as the team prepares to bring Bosa back into the fold, it will take on the Dolphins on Sunday without safety Derwin James, defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, and cornerback Bryce Callahan, as Lindsey Thiry of reports. James, no stranger to lengthy IR stays himself, suffered a quadriceps injury in LA’s Week 12 victory over the Cardinals, and while he played through the injury in last week’s loss to the Raiders, he is not healthy enough to suit up for a pivotal bout with Miami.