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Chargers Issue Statement On Joey Bosa Negotiation

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With the public reaction from the San Diego Chargers contract stalemate with first-round pick Joey Bosa becoming more evenly split, San Diego took to the offensive and issued a press release, giving a barometer of their negotiating progress.

Our contract discussions and offers to the representatives of Joey Bosa have been both fair and structurally consistent with the contracts of every other Chargers player. 

Our offer included:

Ø  An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.

Ø  More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).

Ø  The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).

We gave Joey’s representatives our best offer last night, which was rejected today.  The offer that we extended was for Joey to contribute during all 16 games and beyond.  Joey’s ability to contribute for an entire rookie season has now been jeopardized by the valuable time he has missed with his coaches and his teammates. 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.

As a result, we will restructure our offer since Joey will be unable to contribute for the full 16 game season without the adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games.

This is a brilliant move by the Chargers.  They want to get public support in their favor which will inevitably shame Bosa into signing a deal that has been reported to be below market.

In the San Diego statement, they said nothing about offset language in the contract, which would only kick in if Bosa doesn’t last through the first four years of his deal.

Every other pick in the Top 7 doesn’t have offset language in their deals, which is one of the major sticking points of this negotiation.

Do we know if the Chargers are being completely truthful?  

We do not, but if we take them at face value this would certainly seem like a deal that is fair to both sides.

Let’s examine the possibilities:

  1. An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.

If this is indeed true, why wouldn’t Bosa accept it?  Maybe because the salaries (not mentioned) over the four years could be lower than market value, making up for the difference in money.

2. More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).

Again, this would be a very good thing for Bosa, but they say nothing about guaranteed money after this year.

3.  The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).

This pretty much means nothing as Bosa is the highest pick the Chargers have had since 2011. Their offer and the subsequent bragging would mean more if the team hasn’t notoriously been cheap with the money revolving around first round picks going back nearly two decades.

Ultimately, the Chargers will win this negotiation.  Even though Bosa’s family has money, there’s no long term gain in continuing this charade.  San Diego has basically announced that they aren’t going to give him any more money and the offers are only going to drop.

If Bosa were to take the season off and not sign with the Chargers, he could enter the draft next year.  Unfortunately for him, there’s virtually no way he would be selected in the Top 5 and likely not in the top half of the first round (out of sight, out of mind).  He would certainly go to a different franchise, but he would not get nearly the money that the Chargers are offering, even with a market deal.

Again, this is an interesting move by San Diego with “broadcasting” their offer to sway public opinion.  On the surface their offer seems strong and makes their first round pick look greedy for not accepting it.

When you explore further, this simply looks like a shrewd PR move to shame their player that they believed in enough to select third-overall in the draft into showing up.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.