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Chargers GM Tom Telesco expects Joey Bosa to show for camp

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press.)

The Chargers’ veterans are scheduled to report Tuesday and general manager Tom Telesco said he has been given no reason to think Joey Bosa won’t be among them.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection entering the final season of his rookie contract, Bosa could be a candidate to hold out in search of a new deal.

“Nobody’s called me about anything,” Telesco answered Monday when asked if he’s heard from Bosa’s agent.

Per the NFL’s latest plan, the Chargers will begin to test veterans for the coronavirus in preparation for beginning on-field work.

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Telesco said the team so far has had zero positive tests among its rookies, a group that reported last week. He also said he has heard from no players about opting out this season.

“My hope right now,” he said of the roster, “is we have all 86 healthy and ready to go by the end of the week.”

Bosa, who turned 25 this month, is coming off a season in which he started all 16 games and finished with 11 1/2 sacks. He is scheduled to make $14.36 million in 2020.

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The latest market for top pass rushers was established two weeks ago when Cleveland end Myles Garrett agreed to a five-year, $125-million extension that includes $100 million in guarantees.

Garrett was taken No. 1 in the 2017 draft, a year after the Chargers selected Bosa with the third pick. Bosa’s statistics compare favorably to the ones Garrett has compiled.

Bosa held out before his rookie season and didn’t report until late August because of a dispute involving his signing bonus and the offset language in his contract. He is a client of the same firm — Creative Artists Agency — that represents Aaron Donald, who has held out twice.

The Chargers and Hunter Henry were not able to agree on a long-term deal with before the deadline to sign franchise-tagged players arrived Wednesday.

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The Rams star lineman held out in consecutive seasons, 2017 and 2018, to seek an extension while on his rookie contract.

Donald eventually reported the first time on the eve of the season opener — without a new deal — and was active for Week 2. His second holdout ended in late August with a six-year, $135-million extension.

The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement has made holdouts more difficult because of potential heftier fines and the loss of an accrued season that could affect a player’s free agency. Bosa’s situation also is made somewhat cloudier by the uncertainty surrounding the NFL’s economics during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the projections of lost revenue in 2020, the salary cap is expected to go down next year, from about $198 million to closer to $175 million.

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K.J. Hill, a seventh-round pick of the Chargers, could win a roster spot as the third receiver if the rookie can overcome limits caused by the pandemic.

Still, the Chargers appear to be well positioned financially. At the moment, they would have the second-most cap space — an estimated $73.7 million — next year, according to overthecap.com.

“We’re set up pretty well for 2021 no matter what happens,” Telesco said. “So I feel pretty good about that. That’s not a concern right now.”

Instead, pending an appearance by Bosa this week, the Chargers are focused on prepping for the 2020 season and doing so safely.

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“I’m optimistic as a league that we can do this,” Telesco said. “But I know for us here, for everybody, we can not get complacent. … We have two opponents really. We have to fight this virus and then whoever our opponent is on Sunday.”


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