Wednesday’s statement from the Chargers on the Joey Bosa talks buried the lede at the bottom: The team will begin to reduce the monetary package offered to Bosa.
Far closer to the top of the statement appears the team’s characterization of various issues relevant to the negotiations. Each point appears below followed by Bosa’s counter-position, courtesy of a source with knowledge of both sides’ bargaining positions.
Point 1 from the Chargers: “An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.”
Bosa’s take: He wouldn’t get the initial payment until September and multiple players over the past three years have been paid much more by this time than he would get. Some were even at 100 percent payout by now. This is why they limit the statement to the ‘initial portion’ and to 2 years.
Point 2 from the Chargers: “More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).”
Bosa’s take: Bosa should be getting more because he’s the third overall pick. The inclusion of No. 1 pick Jared Goff is misleading because he has a deal with no offsets on the guaranteed money. If the Chargers were to offer no offsets to Bosa, he’d accept the deferral.
Point 3 from the Chargers: “The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).”
Bosa’s take: He should receive the largest payment in Chargers’ history because he’s the highest pick they’ve had under the current system. Since 2011, they hadn’t even had a top-10 pick.
Other aspects of Bosa’s current position include the following: (1) his proposal calls for less cash to be paid out in 2016 than Carson Wentz’s deal at No. 2, as it should; (2) Bosa’s proposal deferred more money (measured by percentages and dollars) into 2017 than five of the top seven picks in 2016 who had offset language in their deals; (3) his proposal preserves the team’s precedent of offset language and final payment of the signing bonus in March 2017.
That last point is significant. Bosa has offered to defer a significant portion of the signing bonus to March 2017 in order to get the deal done. The team’s position is that it’s still not enough of a deferral.
Other discrepancies exist regarding language (specifically, for example, the language of the training-camp roster bonuses in future years), but on the major terms Bosa has moved on the deferral issue. The Chargers don’t think he has moved enough. And so now the question is whether the Chargers make good on their threat to move the total dollars lower.