The standoff between Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers is breaking records, with the former Ohio State standout still refusing to sign his rookie contract, holding out longer than anyone ever has since the new CBA was introduced in 2011.
Bosa, the third overall pick, wants the entire signing bonus to be paid to him this year, in 2016. It comes to about $17 million, while the Chargers want to wait until next March and then give him a significant portion of his bonus money. It’s rumored they’re willing to give him about 60% of his bonus money this year, and the rest leave for 2017. The Dallas Cowboys signed Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick and a teammate of Bosa’s in college, with 60% of his bonus money coming this season. Overall, Bosa’s contract should be worth $25.8 million.
It seems that the Chargers and Bosa haven’t been in contact since July 28, and he doesn’t seem to be in any rush to end this stalemate. Maybe it has something to do with Bosa coming from a wealthy family, and not having the urge to get his first NFL paycheck. He saw how it worked out for Marcus Mariota last season, also stalling his signing with the Tennessee Titans over offset language and bonus money, in the end getting his way.
Theoretically, Bosa could end up playing for someone else. The Chargers have until today (August 9) to trade his draft rights to a different team, but it’ll be quite shocking if it actually happens. Bosa can hold out the entire year and then re-enter the draft next year, and will be ineligible to play in 2016 if he doesn’t sign his contract two days after the week 10 round of games. While his mother’s comments about hoping he’d pull an Eli Manning (forcing his way out of San Diego after being picked by them in the 2004 draft) are making quite a lot of noise, it’s difficult to believe teams can make this kind of deal, this close to the season, without enough rookie pool space.
Bosa, 21, played three seasons with the Buckeyes, winning the national title for the 2014 season. He was the Big Ten defensive player of the year in 2014, and a consensus All-American in 2014 and 2015 after highly impressing as a true freshman in 2013. Overall, he finished with 26 sacks in his college career, playing 38 games for Ohio State.