Chargers befuddled by Bosa’s position, but maybe they shouldn’t be


It’s a holdout about nothing, at least from the team’s perspective.

With defensive end Joey Bosa, the third overall pick in the draft, officially absent for the start of camp, the team is left to wonder why.

Per a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Chargers view the impasse as “strange,” given that every penny of Bosa’s slotted contract is fully and completely guaranteed. The franchise looks at the remaining areas of the dispute as minimal and trivial, given that most if not all other players on the roster: (1) have offset language attached to their guaranteed money; and (2) accept a deferred percentage of their signing bonus until March of the following year.

The problem seems to be that the Chargers are looking at the negotiation from the perspective of team precedent, and that Bosa’s agents are looking at it from the perspective of third-overall-pick precedent. Which is how most agents and teams usually view such negotiations.

So, from that perspective, it would be just as easy for Bosa and his agents to call the team’s position “strange.”

The cash-flow issue seems small on the surface, given interest rates. But these are significant dollars, with the team trying to retaining the ability to invest or otherwise use the money into next year and the player wanting the money now.  Also, the issue is bigger than when the money will be paid; it’s a matter of the new rookie wage scale giving teams and agents very little to negotiate when doing these deals. Cash flow regarding the signing bonus is one of the few issues left.

Other players taken at the top of the first round have gotten all of their signing bonus now, or will have it all by October. Bosa is looking to be treated the same way as those players; the Chargers are looking to treat Bosa the same way they have treated other players. (The fact that the Chargers typically don’t draft in the top five could be the primary reason for the impasse.)

As to offset language, that issue continues to be a matter of cleaning up the worst-case scenario of a guy getting cut before his four-year contract ends. If it comes to that, whether the Chargers pay the balance of the deal or get credit for the low-end contract Bosa would get elsewhere is a small part of the far bigger problem that they took Bosa when they could have had Jalen Ramsey or some other player who becomes great.

It will be much harder for Bosa to become great right away, if he misses much practice time. And it will be much harder for the Chargers to win at the ballot box in November, if Bosa isn’t great right away. The smart move for both sides would be to find a way to compromise. For now, with team and player dug in on both offsets and cash flow, it’s going to require someone to blink in the name of the greater goals that both sides have for the relationship.

32 responses to “Chargers befuddled by Bosa’s position, but maybe they shouldn’t be

  1. Way to step over those dirty dollars to pick up those shiny dimes Boza….or should I say Bozo??!!

  2. I’m a Bosa fan but enough is enough. He needs to sign. If they guaranteed all the money then I don’t see why he should expect to get EVERYTHING he wants. That’s not negotiating, that’s demanding and frankly, as a rookie, he shouldn’t have the expectation to do that now. He needs to prove something on the field before he can expect the world. Sounds to me his agents are being buttheads about the whole thing. That’s why everyone (except most players) hate agents.

  3. The Chargers should give up on the offset language because its worth very little to them.

    Its worth 0 if Bosa is good enough to be close to average or better, let alone good, because they won’t cut him.
    If he’s a bust, he’ll get signed for a low amount, say 1MM or less.
    So all the Chargers would recover would be around 1MM.
    Its not worth fighting over that if it ruins the relationship and interferes with the players development.
    Its unlikely Bosa will be cut after 3 years, so conceding the offset language costs them nothing.

  4. Completely unworthy of the third overall pick and will most likely be a bust
    He had a strong tendency to disappear in the big games in college and there’s no reason to think that will change at the next level

  5. Both he and his agent are idiots. If he falls down the stairs and fractures his skull (see Sergio Kindle), he loses millions of dollars. For what?

  6. Right, flashback to draft night the only word we received was that this was the #1 player the Chargers targeted all along… why are they making this a big deal….. it’s not like he wants more money than what the scale says he should get… is this a case of buyers remorse?

  7. I now believe Bosa wants to be traded to another franchise. He may well have been convinced that SD is not the place to build a career. It reminds me of Eli Manning’s refusal to play for the Chargers and was subsequently swapped for Philip Rivers and other players via the Giants. Also, Elway did not want to go to (I recall) the Colts and ended up in Denver. Charger management (or mismanagement) hasn’t the best reputation, e.g. firing Bobby Ross a year after he took the Chargers to their only Super Bowl in history. I don’t suggest that the Chargers should “give in” at all. Rather that Bosa really wants to play with a serious contender or in a larger market. That’s why he’s holding out.

  8. Its also harder to stay healthy. Over and over again we see players hold out, whether rookies or vets, they don’t get proper football conditioning as a result, and are often injured in the first 2 or 3 games they play in because they’re just not ready.

  9. Bosa has looked AWFUL so far, and was a strange selection given Bosa’s skill set, the Chargers’ defensive scheme, and the speed of the game played on Sundays.

    If there was any player in the draft class who can less afford to miss the reps, it’s Bosa. Sign the damned contract, and prove you even belong on the team.

  10. When you know you are a bust, you want to postpone your first round pick aura as long as possible. The minute he hits the practice field the question marks are going to be obvious.

  11. +guyjuneguyjune–Agreed. Additionally Deano’s tendency to lie like a proverbial dawg–not to mention, his moneygrubbing, gross mismanagement–speaks for itself.

    As for playing in a larger market…Once again the Chargers are overreaching, on a stadium deal they know will never pass.
    They are still on a carefully veiled mission to move to LA.
    If only we could trade the Spanos regime!

  12. Chargers are being ridiculous. You are telling me that their billionaire owner is holding this up because he wants to make additional money investigating for another 8 months before he has to pay out the balance?

    and all the people taking their side, this is no different than if you than if your company gives a bonus and decided to defer half of it for 8 months. I know I would be looking for another place of employment.

  13. Bosa’s agents are ruining his development for what, insurance and faster cash flow? He’s a rookie and doesn’t deserve to get better terms than Chargers who have already proved it on the field like Rivers and Keenan Allen.

    I knew something was off about Bosa when he said he saw himself being a Charger reflexively for just the next 4 years instead of most of his career. He needs to suck it up and play out his rookie contract, then he can be a free agent and choose the team/system he wants to play in if he doesn’t think he’s good enough to dominate on his own.

    Still going to root for Bosa to succeed as a Charger, but entitled divas put a bad taste in my mouth since they think they’re above the team. Denzel Perryman and Verrett prove their worth on the field and will get paid handsomely when their time comes. Follow their lead Bosa, not your agents who just want to set a precedent. The bad rep and disdain from teammates and coaches who think Bosa thinks he’s better than them isn’t worth the <5% contract value that Bosa's agents are selling him on.

  14. Put both sides in a room and let Phillip Rivers yell at them until this thing gets settled.

  15. It’s a completely disingenuous statement. If it really was meaningless the wouldn’t be arguing for it this late in the season. Obviously this is as important to Bosa’s reps as it is to them, thus the impasse.

    This is the primary problem with SD’s front office, no one trusts them.

  16. Rivers and Keenan Allen’s deals have nothing to do with Bosa’s deal.

    He wants what every other 3rd overall pick has gotten under the new rookie wage scale. He should get it. Whether you think he was deserving of being taken there or if you think he’s going to be a bust is irrelevant. He’s not asking for the moon. He’s asking for exactly what last years 3rd pick got and the year before that.

  17. and all the people taking their side, this is no different than if you than if your company gives a bonus and decided to defer half of it for 8 months. I know I would be looking for another place of employment.
    C’mon. No it isn’t. First, the company in your example is not obligated to give you extra money in the form of a bonus.

    Also, why take the player’s side on this one at all? What has he done for your team so far? Why does it matter if the extra money they give him is split into two payments? He still gets it right? That is unless he is unfortunate enough to endure some tragic accident before he signs. In which case, he or his heirs would get absolutely nothing.

    This is just the NFLPA and the agents trying to exercise some power in negotiations that are essentially meaningless. They just want to save face so every year there is one rookie they convince to hold out for something ridiculous in the hopes that the team relents and sets a league-wide precedent. This year, it’s Bosa.

  18. Bosa is just another snot nosed, arrogant punk who has been coddled all his adult life.

    Let him sit out the year.

    Screw him.

  19. Difficult to think the Chargers want to impress the voters by playing penny-anny with a potential star. And, he is that, whether the above experts think so or not.

  20. Drafting Bosa at #3 overall is the stupidest draft strategy since 2005 when the Vikings left Aaron Rodgers in the Green Room when they had not one but two first round picks prior to the Packers at #24 overall.

  21. If the offset language was expected to be part of the top picks contract terms, then that would be outlined in the CBA. Since it’s not defined, then that is the team’s choice whether to give drafted players that concession. A player can certainly try to withhold thier services until an agreement is made, but assuming that just because some poorly managed orginizations (that always pick in the top 10) choose to continue their hibitual habits of low expectation / low reward tendancies doesn’t mean all other teams are going to revert to self-deficating management styles also.

  22. Let’s see…. Wentz is third string QB, Bosa holding out, Zeke in trouble with the law, Ramsey has chronic knee problems, Tunsil is struggling to convert to guard…. Lotta dollars and draft capital circling the drain already.

  23. Whatever he thinks he’s accomplishing, he should know he’s painting a bullseye on his back with the fans. If he doesn’t produce like an HOF er right from the get go, the fans will turn on him quickly. Regional endorsements will dry up or be non existent from the start. Seems pithy to me.

  24. It’s worrying that Bosa is making such a big deal over offset language and deferred bonus, when 100% of his contract is money he’s going to get, if he plays well enough to keep his job and slot on the roster. Is he not confident in his ability? I’m starting to second guess him and his confidence at the pro level.

  25. NFL should not allow a team to defer bonus money. Why should Bosa have to wait for his money and allow the Chargers to keep the interest earned from his money.
    That’s BS

  26. harrisonhits2 says:
    Jul 30, 2016 10:56 AM
    Its also harder to stay healthy. Over and over again we see players hold out, whether rookies or vets, they don’t get proper football conditioning as a result, and are often injured in the first 2 or 3 games they play in because they’re just not ready.

    This. I wish I could give this more than one thumbs-up.

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