After the Chargers issued a blistering statement regarding the Joey Bosa negotiations, I contacted the team to offer someone/anyone a chance to join PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN to discuss the situation. The Chargers said, as of 2:48 p.m. ET, “right now we’re going to let the statement stand on its own.”
“Right now” didn’t last very long.
In an item published at 5:23 p.m. ET by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers president of football operations John Spanos unloaded on Bosa in a team-friendly forum.
“I’m highly, highly disappointed in the path we’ve had to take,” Spanos told Kevin Acee of the Union-Tribune regarding the team’s decision to reduce its total financial offer. “It’s so overly clear we had no choice. It would have been more difficult if I felt they were being reasonable. But when you’re dealing with someone who isn’t reasonable, it makes it easy.”
Acee characterized the (in his assessment) usually even-keeled Spanos as speaking in a voice that (in Acee’s assessment) “could have shattered glass.”
“I’m blown away,” Spanos said. “At all costs I wanted to avoid going down this road. They made it overly clear we had no other option. . . . It’s absolutely asinine. He would have gotten more cash in this calendar year than anyone except Carson Wentz.”
Spanos contends that, over the next four months, Bosa would have received $14.5 million under the team’s latest offer.
Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong, the implosion of the talks will spark a P.R. battle. For the Chargers, the primary battleground is San Diego, where voters eventually will be determining whether to harvest other people’s money for a stadium for a team that currently isn’t using any of its money to pay Bosa. For Bosa, the audience resides beyond San Diego, where folks may be inclined to look at all of the various holdouts the Chargers have endured over the years and wonder whether the problem is more about the team than the players they want to sign by using glass-shattering rhetoric that accuses people of being “asinine.”
For the most part (with the exception of Bosa’s mother saying she regrets not “pulling an Eli Manning“), Bosa’s camp has avoided inflammatory statements that could be hard to get past if/when the time comes to do a deal. If that approach changes, Bosa may indeed miss the season and re-enter the draft.
It would be stunning if it happens. Based on today’s events, however, “stunning” already has happened.