The Chargers and defensive end Joey Bosa still aren’t talking. Actively or otherwise.
The two sides haven’t talked since Thursday and, per a source with knowledge of the discussions (or lack thereof), they didn’t talk on Monday. With Bosa’s camp making the last move, the ball remains in the Chargers’ court.
On the surface, there’s little to discuss. Relying on team precedent, the Chargers remain dug in on the position that Bosa’s contract must include offset language and defer a major chunk of the signing bonus into 2017. Relying on precedent as to the top picks in the draft since 2012, Bosa’s camp wants either no offset language on the guarantee or full payment of the signing bonus in 2016.
The debate has assumed a vibe that mirrors the current American political climate. The team will point to the facts that support what it believes, Bosa and his agents will point to the facts that support what they believe, and there’s no middle ground.
The Chargers fear that caving on either of the major issues will make it harder to negotiate deals in the future with offset language and signing-bonus deferral. Bosa’s camp, however, can point to multiple situations in which concessions made one year by a team don’t tie that team’s hands in the future.
The fact remains that, since 2012, the third overall pick has had either no offset or no deferral. The Chargers knew this when they earned — and kept — the third overall pick. If a team doesn’t want to pay the price that goes along with drafting a player that high, the team either should finish lower in the pecking order or trade down.
Still, the team thinks it’s no big deal for Bosa to agree to offset language and to agree to take he rest of his signing bonus in March 2017. But that door swings both ways. If it’s no big deal for the player, it’s no big deal for the billion-dollar entity that will be printing money long after Bosa’s career ends, especially in a year that entails a high-stakes stadium vote in November.
So while it’s entertaining (to an extent) to witness up close a clash of egos and short-sightedness, this is an impasse that needs to be resolved sooner than later, for the best interests of both team and player. The problem is that, without a win-win resolution that allows each side to feel like it won, Bosa’s deal gets done only if someone blinks. For now, neither side is inclined to.
It’s even harder to blink if they won’t even stand face to face and talk.