As if unsigned defensive end Joey Bosa wasn’t hearing enough chatter from current Chargers about his contract situation, one of the franchise’s all-time greats recently called out the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.
“The agent works for him,” LaDainian Tomlinson recently said on NFL Network. “At the end of the day if he wants to be here he is in control of that and he’s missing a lot of time obviously. Critical time he’s missing. The chemistry that he could be building with this defense. They’re starting right now to get a rotation going and the longer that Bosa is out the more that it’s gonna be difficult for him to get in here and learn the system. So I would tell him remember he’s in control. If he wants to be out here tell his agent to make the deal get done.”
But was Tomlinson in control when he held out until August 22 in 2001? Did he eventually tell his agent, “I don’t care what you say, I’m taking the best offer the team will make?”
Regardless of who’s at fault on this one, the pressure coming from current and former Chargers is being applied to Bosa. As if he’s the only one capable of bending.
The team could bend, too. Current and former Chargers like Tomlinson could be saying that the contract negotiators work for owner Dean Spanos, and that if the end of the day Spanos wants Tomlinson here, Spanos is in control of that.
On the surface, it’s not a shock that Tomlinson is taking a subtle pro-team position on this. After all, he currently works for the NFL and, necessarily, each of its 32 teams. At what point, however, does it become relevant for folks like Tomlinson and Antonio Gates to mention that they once had to hold out to get what they wanted from the team, along with plenty of other current and former Chargers — from Drew Brees to Philip Rivers to Quentin Jammer to Shawne Merriman to Antonio Cromartie to Vincent Jackson to Marcus McNeil to Corey Liuget to Eric Weddle and more.