The LA Chargers made Joey Bosa the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL.
Fans of the LA Chargers around the world took a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday when it was announced that the team agreed to a five-year, $135 million contract extension with elite edge-rusher, Joey Bosa.
Bosa received the most guaranteed money that a defensive player has ever received and his average annual salary surpassed that of Khalil Mack, albeit Mack still has him beat in total dollar amount, making $141 in his extension.
Bosa will now be a Charger for the next six years and is a pillar of the franchise moving forward. Some might overlook this move as it is an edge-rusher and not a skill position player but Bosa is massively important in the Chargers’ quest to their first Super Bowl title.
The importance of Joey Bosa in the LA Chargers’ Super Bowl quest:
Joey Bosa is one of the best edge-rushers in the league, period. Not only has he put up great numbers and has made a huge difference on the defensive side of the ball, but he is still only 25 years old and arguably has not even scratched his prime yet.
The crazy part is that he is already good enough to be considered as one of the league’s best. Just imagine if he takes his game to a new level.
Bosa posted an 89.6 defensive grade on Pro Football Focus last season. Outside of his injury-shortened 2018, Bosa has posted a defensive grade above 85 every season of his career.
Why is this important? If we look at the five most-recent Super Bowl Champions there is a common denominator: they all have at least one defensive lineman with a similar PFF grade that made a big impact.
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2019 Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Jones (86.3)
Chris Jones just recently got paid as well as he agreed to an $85 million extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Jones is arguably the best player on the defensive side of the football for the Chiefs and is one of the best interior linemen in all of football.
He may not be an edge-rusher like Bosa, but his impact on the Chiefs’ success is still massive. Jones deflection three passes in the Super Bowl and his one pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo turned into an interception.
2018 New England Patriots: Trey Flowers (90.4)
Trey Flowers had an exceptional regular season for the New England Patriots in 2018 and had a decent postseason as well. In three playoff games that season Flowers recorded two sacks, three tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.
Flowers had a tackle for loss and hit Jared Goff twice in the Super Bowl. He was an important part of the team’s pressure on Goff that held the Rams to three points.
2017 Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham (89.9)
This is the perfect example of how a defensive end can win the Super Bowl for a team. Not only was Brandon Graham a huge component of the Eagles’ defense and was elite in the regular season, but he made the game-winning play in the Super Bowl against the Patriots.
Graham strip-sacked Tom Brady with a five-point lead and just over two minutes left in the game. The way that game was going, many expected the Patriots to drive down the field and retaliate. Instead, Graham stripped the ball from Brady, the Eagles went up by eight and the rest is history.
2016 New England Patriots: N/A
This is the one Super Bowl Champion of the last five to not have a elite defensive lineman in terms of PFF grade. However, Donta Hightower recorded six sacks in the regular season and had a PFF grade above 80 and Trey Flowers had a huge game, recording 2.5 sacks. 2.5 tackles for loss and five quarterback hits.
2015 Denver Broncos: Von Miller (90.1)
Not only was Von Miller a huge reason why the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 but he was named the Super Bowl MVP after a huge game against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
After posting a 90.1 grade in the regular season, Miller continued his dominance in the playoffs. He recorded 2.5 sacks and a pass deflection and had the game-changing forced fumble on Cam Newton. Miller also sacked Tom Brady 2.5 times and had an interception in the AFC Championship that year as well.
As you can see, having an elite, game-changing defensive lineman is something that almost every Super Bowl-winning team has. Now the LA Chargers have that for another six seasons in the form of Joey Bosa.