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Why Joey Bosa & Khalil Mack Returned to the Chargers This Offseason


In the end, Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack ended up making the same choice to restructure their contracts this offseason to remain with the Chargers.

Each player actually used the term "easy decision" Wednesday when meeting with reporters to explain the events of the past few months.

And while it wasn't a joint decision, the duo said the fact that the one player returning gave some meaning for the other to come back, too.

"I want to win. I want to be on this team. I want another shot with the guys in this room, especially Khalil. That's what it was," Bosa said. "Winning football games is more important to me right now than making some extra money. I think we have a great opportunity here."

"If a guy like Khalil, coming off a year with 17 sacks, can take that cut, it shows the kind of guy he is and the culture we have brewing here," Bosa later added. "That's who I want to be with. It was a pretty easy decision."

Mack said: "Just knowing [Bosa] was going to be able to come back, that factored in as well."

Of course, the Bolts decision to hire Jim Harbaugh also played a role.

"Oh yeah, that factored in as well," Mack said. "Just understanding the experience and understanding the staff that he was bringing in."

Bosa added: "It's definitely a factor knowing we're bring in maybe the final piece to figure this stuff out."

Keeping Mack and Bosa in the fold certainly alters the dynamic of what the Chargers defense would have been without either or one of them in powder blue.

Nobody is happier than Chargers Defensive Coordinator Jesse Minter, who can now pair the duo with 168.5 combined career sacks together, or mix and match packages that also feature veteran Bud Dupree and rising second-year player Tuli Tuipulotu.

"To be able to have the edge room that we have now, I think it's a huge strength of ours," Minter said. "You have guys that have played in this league at a really, really high level and done it for a long time.

"When those guys got here, I think the thing that I sort of respected the most was how they went about their business," Minter continued. "They practiced the right way, they're a great example for the young players of how you want to become a veteran, how you want to become a pro. Just how they've worked and how they've attacked it — how they've been excited to learn is something that I'm certainly very appreciative of.

"They have really wanted to know what we're doing, why we're doing it, how we're doing it, how we're going to set things up, how we're going to let them operate at times. 'Let them cook,' so to speak," Minter added. "I'm really excited about them and appreciate the work that they've put in and look forward to seeing those guys out there in the fall."


While Mack and Bosa are both back with the Bolts, the two certainly endured different 2023 seasons on the field.

Mack had perhaps the best season of his career, notching a career-best 17.0 sacks to set a personal best and tie the Chargers single-season mark. He also surpassed the 100.0-sack milestone along the way.

And while that should have put any questions about his ability to still get it done to rest, Mack said he still saw doubters out there.

"I felt like I would look on Twitter and people would be like, '17 sacks, but he had six in one game'. It's like, damn, is that a bad thing? Maybe I shouldn't have gotten six in one game. Maybe I should've did three," Mack said with a laugh. "Ultimately getting to that 100, it's special in the grand scheme of things when you understand everybody is not fortunate enough to play 10 years in this league and had great teammates like I have had and been able to do and accomplish some of the things that I have.

"Ultimately, it's of those things like, I want to win. I want to win," Mack added. "Yeah, you can celebrate certain things a little bit, but I feel like a Super Bowl would feel a lot better than that."

As he enters his age-33 season, Mack made it quite clear what his priority is.

"Just understanding where I am in my career right now," Mack said. "The best chance to win, ultimately, that's what it came down to. I don't have any years to waste."


Bosa, meanwhile, dealt with a slew of injuries, whether it was to his hamstring, toe, hand or foot.

Bosa, who suffered a sprained foot in Week 11 in Green Bay, said he tried to return to practice late in the season but was unable to make it back to game action. He tallied 6.5 sacks in nine games.

"All of those things are good," said Bosa, who added he also had finger surgery. "It's nice to be feeling better heading into Year 9 than you have maybe five or six years ago.

"I'm grateful that I feel this way," Bosa later added. "A nice, ripe 28 [years old]. Not too old yet. I'm just excited."

Bosa said Wednesday that he could envision a future where he plays his entire career and retires with the Chargers.

Mack also said he didn't get too deep into thinking about playing for another team in 2024.

Instead, the duo will look to play a full season together and wreak havoc on opposing offenses as some of the most vital pieces of the Bolts defense.

"It's exciting when you have those two out there," Minter said. "Certainly, no disrespect to the other players that we have, but when you have a guy like Joey Bosa and a guy like Khalil Mack … when you're working with that caliber of player, I think how we're going to operate is that we want to accentuate our strengths.

"We want to build on them," Minter later added. "They are strengths of our defense, let them affect the game, do things that they do really well and try to let them have the best years that they've had and thrive in our defense."

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