Posted on August 8, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Football is much better when there is no money involved. So that basically cuts out everything but the random guys that meet up at the park after school, choose sides, and play till the sun goes down, the mosquitos get too bad, or Mom says it’s time for dinner. Turn the game into a multi-billion dollar business and you have the kind of scenario that is playing out with the San Diego Chargers and the No. 3 pick in the 2016 Draft, Joey Bosa.
Joey Bosa wants more money now. The Chargers don’t want to give it to him. So rather than enjoy the fruits of his labors that began many years ago, Bosa is trying to force an NFL team to change how it does business just for him.
However, at the same time, the Chargers need to give the voters a reason to want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new stadium. To do so, it would certainly help to have the team’s first-round draft pick in camp.
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So—who’s being the bigger idiot here? The kid that is trying to take on an NFL franchise or the team that is desperate for a new stadium? Neither is talking to the other, so they both look pretty stupid right now. However, an argument could be made for both—but first, let’s examine what the problems are:
- As a first round pick, Bosa’s contract is guaranteed. On the off chance, the team cuts him they don’t want to pay him if he signs on with another team. So they include what is called offset language that allows them to get credit for whatever he makes with the other team.
- For example, if they owe him $5 million, and he signs a deal for $4 million, the Chargers would only owe him $1 million.
- Most of the money Bosa will make with his rookie contract will be in his signing bonus. As a practical matter, the Chargers prefer to spread it out rather than pay the bulk of it up front.
- According to Bosa’s agent, his client wants more money upfront and no offset language
The collective bargaining agreement was supposed to make it easy for teams to sign their draft picks and get them into camp on time. But agents have found a couple of things to haggle over. Bosa is the first to take it as far as he has.
Bosa could easily bend to the team’s will, sign his deal, and get to work. He has said he would be willing to turn on one point, but not both. Both could easily bend to the other’s will, end the impasse, and let football take its course. Neither appears willing to do so.
So—who’s the bigger idiot?
The Chargers are idiots because they could easily bend on the bonus money and get the kid into camp. However, they have a good reason for not doing so—they don’t want to set a precedent. If they bend now, everyone is going to expect them to bend.
The bigger idiot, however, is Bosa. Not only is he not in camp learning the defense and getting on the same page with his teammates, but he is developing a bad reputation with every team’s front office. Should he end up going back into the draft pool, there will be some teams that will pass on him just because of how he handled contract talks with the Chargers.
That alone makes him the bigger idiot, but the disservice he is doing to his bank account and team make it even worse. Should his holdout go into the regular season, it will cost him game checks. Not only that but if he goes back into the draft there is no way he gets taken with the third pick. So depending on how far he falls, he loses more money.
If it gets that far, he would have been better off staying in college and playing another year rather than leaving college early as he did.
Many of his teammates will not care about his holdout. They’ll just chalk it up to him doing what he felt was necessary—just like they all have during contract talks. However, some have already commented on how he needs to be in camp, and he’s missing out on valuable practice reps.
Bosa needs to get over himself. How the Chargers have proposed structuring his contract has not been made public. Dante Fowler, the 2015 No. 3 pick in the draft, signed a four-year deal worth $23.5 million with a $15.34 million signing bonus. According to some reports, his bonus was split into two payments.
That means as a rookie, Fowler took home close to $8 million—which is more than enough for a player to live the good life Joey Bosa. Do you really need $15 million right now? Is the reason so important that it’s worth damaging the relationship you have with the team before you even practice?