SAN DIEGO — Defensive end Joey Bosa ended his monthlong holdout Monday when he signed a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers.
The team announced the signing five days after the two sides went public in their nasty spat over payment of Bosa’s $17 million signing bonus and whether the contract would have offset language. The signing also came a day after San Diego’s defense played poorly in a 23-10 exhibition loss at Minnesota.
“I’m happy to be here and there is no animosity between us,” Bosa said. “It’s just a matter of business and I’m happy to have it out of the way. I am very relieved. I knew this was going to get done. I was surprised how long it took. Of course I would have loved to have been out there with my teammates but the NFL is a business.”
“We just wanted what was fair and what people in that position got the last four or five years,” Bosa added.
Coach Mike McCoy said he heard of Bosa agreeing to terms before Sunday’s game and said he had to “keep it to myself.”
“He’s here to help us win and I told the team he’s here to help us win,” McCoy said. “Regardless of when he got here, let’s go.”
The Chargers threatened last Wednesday to reduce their offer to Bosa under the assumption he wouldn’t be ready to play a full season. Bosa, the No. 3 overall pick out of Ohio State, was the last rookie to sign. The Chargers said last week that they had given Bosa’s agents their best offer and that it was rejected. Brian Ayrault, Bosa’s main representative, replied with his own statement saying the team had manipulated the facts and that going public would not strengthen the team’s relationship with the player.
There was no immediate indication of what led to the deal getting done.
Bosa said he’s capable of playing in the opener on Sept. 11 at the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m obviously a step behind the other guys this late into the game,” Bosa said. “I trust the coaches and they obviously have a plan ready for me. I’m just not sure what that is.”
Bosa also discussed his mother’s involvement in the public side of the contract dispute. Earlier this month, Cheryl Bosa posted a remark toward the Chargers on Facebook. In a reply to someone frustrated by the impasse, she wrote: “It bums me out for him so much. Wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day.”
On Thursday, Cheryl Bosa retweeted an article critical of the Chargers and added the comment, “The Chargers were petty and terrible even before they tried to stiff Joey Bosa.”
“What do you expect a mom to do?” Bosa said. “She loves me, she wants what’s best for me and she made a dumb decision, like I have before, saying something she shouldn’t have said on social media. She honestly had no idea it was public, she thought, because she was sending it to somebody else. Leave it to a mom to mess up on Facebook.”
Bosa’s father, John, is a former first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins. He held out for 41 days as a rookie.
Bosa missed 31 days but said he followed a stringent workout regimen while away.
“I was doing everything I could to be ready when I showed up here,” Bosa said. “I think I’ve put myself in the best possible shape I could be in.”
The Bosa spat came amid the Chargers’ push for a ballot initiative that will ask voters for a $1.1 billion subsidy via an increase in the hotel tax to help pay for a new stadium and convention center downtown.