With not many topics for negotiation in rookie contracts and the Chargers and defensive end Joey Bosa at odds on each of them, there’s no easy solution to the current impasse. Already, it’s the longest holdout by any draft pick since the new rookie wage scale was adopted in 2011.
Neither side is inclined to blink. If that continues, what happens? Glad you asked. (Even if you didn’t.)
Bosa can sign at any time through the Tuesday after Week 10. Beyond that point, he can’t play in 2016.
After the season, the Chargers would retain exclusive rights to him until the 2017 draft begins. At that point, Bosa would re-enter the draft.
Because the Chargers would continue to hold his rights, no other team could talk to Bosa before the draft, and he wouldn’t be permitted to return to the Scouting Combine.
The Chargers could, in theory, trade Bosa. But they would need to do it quickly. Under the CBA, they can trade Bosa’s rights up until the 30th day before the start of the regular season. The regular season begins on September 8, with the Panthers visiting the Broncos. The Chargers have until Tuesday, August 9 to send his rights to another team.
The Chargers haven’t even mentioned the possibility of trading him, and for good reason. On Thursday, coach Mike McCoy reiterated his desire that Bosa sign a deal and join his teammates.
“We want everybody here,” McCoy said, via ESPN.com. “His teammates want him here. We all understand the type of player he is but I’m very excited and pleased with where our team is today. . . . Joey’s just going to make us that much better when he gets here. I’m ready for him to be here today.”
Unless the Chargers or Bosa blink or the two sides find some other way to bridge the divide, Bosa may not be there any time soon. If everyone involved is sufficiently stubborn, he may never be there.