Joey Bosa reworks contract as Chargers secure star pass rushers; TE Hayden Hurst added

Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst (81) runs after a catch against the New Orleans Saints.

The Chargers are retaining Joey Bosa after the veteran edge rusher agreed to rework his contract for salary-cap purposes.

Also Thursday, free-agent tight end Hayden Hurst indicated on social media that he would be signing with the Chargers.

Bosa’s future was uncertain because the team began this week more than $25 million over the cap. He was one of four Chargers with cap numbers in excess of $32 million.

Wide receiver Mike Williams was released Wednesday, and edge rusher Khalil Mack also reworked his deal to help the Chargers become cap compliant before the start of the NFL’s new league year.

Bosa, who turns 29 in July, had two years remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2020.

Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa warms up before a preseason NFL football game.
Edge rusher Joey Bosa restructured his contract to help the Chargers with their salary cap. (Associated Press)

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2016 draft, Bosa joined the Chargers after a stellar three seasons at Ohio State.

A contract dispute and hamstring injury slowed the start of his first season, but he rallied to reach 10.5 sacks and win the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year award.

Bosa quickly emerged as a force coming off the edge, earning four Pro Bowl invitations over the next five seasons. He dealt with a significant foot injury and concussion issues but remained productive when on the field.

The last two seasons, however, have been disappointing as Bosa has encountered difficulty staying healthy. He appeared in only 14 games and hasn’t yet realized the potential of teaming with Mack.

The Chargers traded for Mack before the start of the 2022 season with the idea of pairing him with Bosa and forcing opponents to pick which one they’d try to neutralize.

Although Mack has shined, especially last season, Bosa more often has been attempting to rehabilitate his way back into the lineup. He has started only nine times over the Chargers’ last 34 regular-season games.

Read more: Chargers release wide receiver Mike Williams in step to become salary-cap compliant

By retaining Bosa, the Chargers' new coaching staff will have the option of deploying him, Mack and edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu at the same time. That trio proved to be effective when on the field together last season.

Hurst, 30, will be joining his fourth team in as many years. He’s coming back from a significant concussion that ended his 2023 season in early November.

Baltimore drafted Hurst with the 25th overall pick in 2018. New Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz was in the Ravens’ front office at the time. Hurst spent his first two seasons with Baltimore before being traded to Atlanta. He also has played for Cincinnati and Carolina.

His most productive season came in 2020 with the Falcons when he caught 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns.

New Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman also was with the Ravens during Hurst’s two seasons there.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.