By Billy Clemmons
The San Diego Chargers and third overall draft pick Joey Bosa still haven’t agreed to a contract. The team has its first regular season game in 18 days, and it claims it’s ready to play it without the rookie defensive end.
The team said today that Bosa’s holdout has gone on to the point where even if he signed today, he would not play all 16 games due to a lack of “adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games.”
The team released a statement Wednesday saying it had provided Bosa’s representatives with its best offer, which Bosa’s side has declined. According to the Chargers, the team offered an initial signing bonus that is the largest any player has received in the last two drafts, more money in this calendar year than every rookie but second overall pick Carson Wentz and the largest payment and highest percentage of signing bonus paid to any Chargers player since the implementation of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
What the statement from the team did not clarify was the timing of the payment of the entire signing bonus and the offset language, which dictates what the Chargers would owe Bosa in terms of guaranteed money if they would decline to pick up his fifth-year option. These are the main issues keeping the Chargers and Bosa from reaching an agreement.
All contracts for rookies selected in the first round of the NFL draft under the current CBA cover four years with a choice for teams to pick up the fifth-year option, extending the rookie contract one season. Teams want offset language included in case they decide to cut a player in his fourth season. Without offset language, the player is entitled to all of the money his original team was supposed to pay in his fourth season, and he can sign a new contract with another team and also earn all of that money.
A lack of offset language essentially allows a player to double dip and earn money from two teams. If there’s offset language included in the contract, it lets the original team off the hook. Obviously, the Chargers want offset language, and Bosa doesn’t.The other issue, signing bonus deferment, is very simple. Bosa wants his signing bonus now. The team would prefer to spread it out over time. Bosa’s camp has repeatedly expressed a willingness to compromise and accept either the offset language or the signing bonus deferral, but the Chargers appear unwilling to budge.
Maybe Eli Manning had it right after all.