Third overall draft pick, Joey Bosa, has been a no show to Chargers camp since mandatory minicamp began on June 14. The reason for this rift is simple, Bosa and the Chargers cannot agree on the terms of Bosa’s rookie deal.
Earlier today the Chargers released a statement saying that they gave Bosa their best offer and he declined. The team offered Bosa 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, excluding 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 (CBA).
The new CBA created a system that was supposed to eliminate the chance of rookies holding out by having predetermined contract numbers based on draft position. The amount Bosa is being paid does not seem to be the issue. The two main issues are how Bosa’s signing bonus will be paid out, and whether or not there is any offset language.
Offset language would allow the Chargers to be better off financially because they would not owe Bosa any money if they decided to cut him. Obviously this is something the Chargers would like to include in the contract, but this is a deal breaker for Bosa.
Bosa would benefit from not having offset language in the contract because if he were to be cut and subsequently sign with another team, the Chargers would owe him guaranteed money; he would also be making money from his new contract.
The second issue at hand is how Bosa’s signing bonus will be paid out to him. The Chargers want to pay Bosa 85% of his $17 million bonus upon him signing, and then defer the rest until March when the new league calendar year begins. Bosa would like the entire bonus in a lump sum at the time of his signing.
It is surprising the two sides cannot compromise on the issues, being that other rookies seem to be accepting of the offset language or signing bonus deferrals. First overall pick Jared Goff has deferrals in his contract, but no offset language. Second overall pick Carson Wentz has both a deferral clause and offset language in his contract.
“Since Joey will not report at this time, his ability to produce not just early in the season, but throughout the entire season, has been negatively impacted.” This was a statement made by the Chargers, and is a reason why they have now pulled their offer from Bosa because they do not think he can contribute how they originally thought he could.
Bosa’s mom even got involved in a Facebook post saying, “It bums me out for him so much. Wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day.” While it is too late to pull an Eli Manning, the two sides do not seem to be very close to signing a deal.
If Bosa remains unsigned a couple things can happen. If he remains unsigned by the Tuesday after week 10 he cannot play in 2016. The Chargers retain the rights to Bosa until the end of the 2016 league year. If he remains unsigned until that point Bosa would be able to re-enter the 2017 NFL draft, but this outcome is not very likely.