Joey Bosa waited for his phone to ring from the team hotel parking lot last Tuesday, his bright blue car out of sight from those who would notice it.
The deadline for Chargers veterans to report to 2020 training camp was drawing closer, but Bosa's agent was about to deliver him big news: The Pro Bowl defensive end would be staying in powder blue for the foreseeable future.
"It was hard to contain my emotions coming in there getting [tested with] the swab," he said. "It helped that I had a mask on, probably, because I had a smirk underneath my mask walking in there."
It became official last Saturday: Bosa signed a multi-year extension with the Chargers, a reward for being one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL over the last four years. The 25-year-old will anchor a talented Los Angeles defense for the next several seasons. He'll also have a big say in the team's quest for a Super Bowl championship.
"For them just to believe in me and to want me to be a part of their team and to be kind of the face of the team for the next six years, it means the world," he said.
In four seasons with the Chargers, Bosa has 40 sacks, 53 tackles for loss and 82 quarterback hits – top ten in each category since 2016. Only Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (1.98) has hit the quarterback more on a per-game basis than Bosa (1.60) during that time.
Together with fellow defensive end Melvin Ingram, the two have combined for 72.5 sacks since 2016. Only the Vikings' duo of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen have had more sacks (83). The Chargers also added to the defense this offseason with the free-agent acquisitions of cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive tackle Linval Joseph.
Perhaps most intriguing, though, is what Bosa and 24-year-old All-Pro safety Derwin James are capable of together for an entire season. The two have only shared the field for 12 regular-season games the past two years.
"I'm just excited to see what these guys can do," Bosa said. "We missed Derwin a hell of a lot last year for a big part of the season. So, hopefully knock on wood we all stay healthy out there, and I think if we get that group out there together it's going to be dangerous."
For the next five months, at least, Bosa will spend nearly every day with his football family, knowing he won't be leaving the franchise he was drafted to any time soon. It's what made last Tuesday's phone call with his immediate family so special.
"I think the best moment for me was when I got that call from my dad," Bosa said. "A lot of screaming. A lot of colorful language, but it was a great moment. … Really that's what means the most to me, to make my family so proud."