Joey Bosa, Chargers Agree on Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

San Diego Chargers rookie defensive end Joey Bosa trains during an NFL football rookie training camp Friday, May 13, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

San Diego Chargers rookie defensive end Joey Bosa was the last of the first-round picks from this year's NFL draft to sign his rookie contract.

Continue for updates.

Bosa Ends Holdout

Monday, Aug. 29

"After a much publicized contract dispute caused the first round pick to miss training camp, the [Chargers] announced Monday that they signed the defensive end to a four-year contract," revealed Ricky Henne of Chargers.com.

“We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season,” said general manager Tom Telesco, per Henne.

McCoy Comments on Bosa's Holdout

Thursday, Aug. 25

"Once he walks through the door, he's one of us. ... We all want him here. He knows that," said Chargers head coach Mike McCoy in reference to Bosa, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's the business side of it. Can't wait for him to be here and help us win football games this year," McCoy added, via Ricky Henne of Chargers.com.

"We'll have a plan for him whenever he's here," McCoy said on Tuesday, via Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com. "We've talked about it over time, from the very beginning of camp. So we've got a plan for when he's in the building. But I'm very pleased with the other 89 guys in camp at this point in time."

"He definitely needs to be out here as a rookie. But no update on the status," McCoy said on July 30, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com. McCoy added:

(General manager) Tom (Telesco) made his comments the other day. It's the same today. We'll just keep on working at that and eventually it will get done. So, he needs to be here. I think everybody needs to be here, especially as a younger player. Through the installations and playing with your teammates and things like that. But we are going to coach the guys who are here. And the players who are here did a nice job today.

Gates Comments on Bosa's Negotiations

Thursday, Aug. 25

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates echoed what McCoy said on Thursday, stating "when he comes back, he'll be welcome with open arms," via Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 in San Diego.

"My advice to any player that's going through any kind of contract situation is that, at one point, you've got to be a man and you've got to understand that you've got to get ready to play," said Gates in regard to Bosa back on Aug. 10, via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune"Eventually, I ended up saying, 'I need to get ready.' To me, it meant a lot for me to go out and perform."

Chargers Might Take Money Off the Table on Next Offer

Thursday, Aug. 25

The Chargers' next offer to Bosa may be worse than the last one as negotiations drag on, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole:

Chargers Release Statements on Rejected Offer; Bosa's Reps Respond

Wednesday, Aug. 24

Los Angeles Chargers @Chargers

Statement from the San Diego Chargers on defensive end Joey Bosa. https://t.co/BayBGeN22x

The Chargers wanted Bosa to practice twice before their third preseason game, as they only have walk-throughs thereafter, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Chargers president of football operations John Spanos added additional comments on his feelings regarding the negotiations, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

I’m highly, highly disappointed in the path we’ve had to take. It’s so overly clear we had no choice. It would have been more difficult if I felt they were being reasonable. But when you’re dealing with someone who isn’t reasonable, it makes it easy. I'm blown away. At all costs I wanted to avoid going down this road. They made it overly clear we had no other option.

Bosa's representatives responded to the Chargers' statements, via ESPN's Adam Schefter:

It is unfortunate the [San Diego] Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with [Joey] Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.

We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.

We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.

At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients. The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.

Bosa Negotiations Reportedly 'Getting Ugly'

Friday, Aug. 19

Jarrett Bell of USA Today reported that Bosa and the Chargers have resumed negotiations regarding the linebacker's rookie deal.

On Aug. 11, Cole reported that Bosa feels "disrespected" by the Chargers. He added that a source noted "irreparable" damage has been done to the relationship:

The Chargers want to defer "roughly half" of Bosa's $17 million bonus to March of next year, according to Andrew Brandt of ESPN, who added that the rookie wants that entire amount in 2016.

Cole reported Tuesday there have not been any contract talks between Bosa and the Chargers since July 28.

On Aug. 1, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cited a source when reporting the state of those July 28 talks:

The Chargers made an offer on Thursday morning. Bosa’s camp responded within 90 minutes. The last communication came from the team, which essentially asked Bosa’s representatives if they were sure about their position. They were, and they are. ...

The primary sticking points, according to the sources, continue to be: (1) whether the fully guaranteed contract will include offset language; and (2) whether Bosa’s signing bonus will be paid in full this year. The team wants offset language and deferral of a significant portion of the signing bonus into 2017. At a time when many believe Bosa wants the exact opposite on both points, the truth is that Bosa’s representatives would accept one or the other: Offset language or full payment of the signing bonus in 2016.

ESPN's Ed Werder reported June 29 the "impasse between [the Chargers and Bosa] is offset language, deferral of some [signing bonus] money. All Chargers with guaranteed [money] have one or both."

Bosa's Holdout Could Impact Chargers' Future in San Diego

Monday, Aug. 8

Cole noted how the bad publicity around Bosa's holdout could impact the Chargers' stadium initiative in San Diego:

Bosa's Mom Makes Controversial Comments About Chargers

Sunday, Aug. 7

"It bums me out for him so much," Bosa's mother, Cheryl Bosa, said in response to a Facebook comment on Sunday, according to Gehlken. "Wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day."

Manning elected not to play for the Chargers after being selected by San Diego and was traded to the New York Giants in 2004.

Telesco Comments on Bosa's Holdout

Monday, July 25

"I don't know," Telesco told reporters when asked if he expects Bosa to be signed by Friday. "We're still working on it. I don't know."

"We're disappointed he's not here," Telesco said June 14 when Bosa did not show up for minicamp, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com:

This is a big part of the learning process for all players, not just rookies. But there is part of a business to this too, and we understand that. It's part of being a professional athlete.

I'll say the time he's been here, (we've) been really impressed by not only his ability, but his work ethic. That's been great. But that all being said, we've got to treat all of our players the same. That's the big thing. We can't do one thing different for one guy and the same for 89 others. These things tend to get worked out. It's June, and we'll just keep going.

Bosa's Agent Comments on Holdout

Tuesday, June 21

"You are a little more boxed in from the pure dollar standpoint, total dollars, but there are a lot of moving parts," Bosa's agent, Todd France, said during an appearance on Sirius XM Radio, via Conor Orr of NFL.com.

France also spoke about the structure of the deal and how Bosa's money would be moved through the length of the deal:

Time value of money is a legit thing, especially at millions of dollars. Do you want to get all of your money in this year? Is it going to be spread out over the next two or three years? So those are some of the moving parts. And sometimes it's easier when you're dealing with teams and sometimes it's harder. And, again, there's a lot of moving parts. If it was just a no-brainer-type thing they would be done in one second.

Bosa Skipping Minicamp Amid Contract Negotiations

Tuesday, June 14

Gehlken reported on Bosa's decision to skip the team's three-day minicamp this week:

Attendance is mandatory for all players under contract, and there is the rub. Bosa's camp has advised him to hold out amid a stalemate in negotiations. The former Ohio State defensive end skipped last Thursday's final OTA practice for the same reason, sources said. His absence at the voluntary session, which was closed to reporters, gave the Chargers [an] indication he might miss Tuesday, too.

The main holdup in the contract is offset language, according to Gehlken, with Bosa's camp pushing for all of his guaranteed money to be paid over the duration of his four-year contract, even if he is released. That would allow Bosa, 20, to be paid by the Chargers and any new team he signs with if he is released.

But, per Gehlken, the team would prefer to include offset language in his contract, as it would allow the team to be "off the hook for Bosa's salary with his new team, only owing him the difference between the two."

While debates over offset language are common among high draft picks—Gehlken cited Marcus Mariota last year, who didn't sign until days before training camp due to offset language—and compromises are often reached, Gehlken also noted the Chargers traditionally include offset language in their contracts.

In other words, these negotiations could drag on longer than either side would prefer.

Bosa Is Vital to Chargers' Defensive Rebuild

"The progression has gone really well," defensive coordinator John Pagano said about Bosa, per Williams. "He's learning every day. There's going to be that rookie learning curve, where it's overload in your mind for these guys in certain things. There's a lot of different defenses and a lot of different calls, but he's getting it. He's picking it up."

Bosa registered 148 tackles, 26 sacks and five forced fumbles in three seasons at Ohio State. He's expected to make an instant impact in the Chargers defense, offering a dangerous presence on the edge and the ability to get after the quarterback.


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