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.