Two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns made defensive end Myles Garrett the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. On Tuesday night, however, Garrett became the second-highest paid defensive player in the NFL as he’s now been topped by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Chargers have reached an agreement on a five-year, $135 million extension with Bosa that ties him to Los Angeles for the next six years. Bosa had $78 million fully guaranteed at signing and a total of $102 million guaranteed – a new NFL defensive record – according to Schefter.
If Schefter’s numbers are correct, Bosa’s new money average is $27 million, which is $2 million more than Garrett’s $25 million he signed for two weeks ago. Prior to his new extension, Bosa was set to earn $14.36 million in 2020 after having his fifth-year option picked up by the chargers over a year ago.
With Garrett and Bosa now signed, sealed, and delivered, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt figures to be the player next in line to become the league’s highest-paid defensive player next summer. Watt, who is currently scheduled to earn $10.089 million in 2021 after having his fifth-year option picked up earlier this offseason, will be ripe for a mega contract extension sometime after the 2020 season ends.
In his first four seasons in the NFL, Bosa, who was the third overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, has registered 40 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in the 51 regular season games he’s played in. Watt, on the other hand, enters his fourth season in the NFL having already registered 34.5, 3 interceptions and 15 forced fumbles in the 47 total regular season games he’s played in.
Assuming Watt stays healthy and productive in 2020, it’s hard to imagine him not becoming the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player at around this same time next year.
As soon as a full breakdown of Bosa’s new contract surfaces, I will break it down in a separate post.