Most football teams could have gotten public approval to build a new stadium before the San Diego Chargers will come to terms with first-round draft pick Joey Bosa’s rookie contract.
The Chargers are fighting the all powerful CAA (who represents Bosa) so the gloves really came off as the team went public to tell their side of the story of pulling their contract offer. They were quick to point out that the new deal they’re restructuring will be paying Bosa less as he’ll be playing less than a full season.
This is always a sign that things are getting out of control, so naturally, CAA put out their own statement in retaliation
Bosa has missed all of training camp as his agents and the team wrangle over how much of his $17 million signing bonus he’ll get up front, as well as offset language in the case he gets cut.
The Chargers were counting on the former Ohio State star to help bolster their pass rush and bring some excitement to a season that could be pivotal to their future in San Diego.
It’s not clear whether Bosa is willing to sit out the season. Also unclear is how the situation could affect the Chargers’ push for $1.1 billion in a public subsidy for a new downtown stadium, which could be their last chance at remaining in San Diego.
At the very least, the team is willing to continue to play hardball with Bosa.
The Chargers said in a statement that they gave Bosa’s agents, including Brian Ayrault, their best offer on Tuesday night, and it was rejected Wednesday.
“The offer that we extended was for Joey to contribute during all 16 games and beyond,” the team said. “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.”
Then they zagged by stating that the offer had been pulled.
“[W]e 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 pre-season games,” the news release said.
Bosa is the only first-rounder who has not signed with his team.
San Diego said it offered an initial signing bonus payment larger than any draftee received in the past two drafts, and more money in 2016 than any draftee except Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
Bosa, a 21-year-old who starred at Ohio State, was seen by most draftniks as the most effective edge rusher in this year’s rookie class. The Chargers’ defence aches for just such an impact player.
If you’re puzzled that an acrimonious NFL rookie holdout can even occur anymore, well, yeah. There’s little for agents of rookies and their drafting clubs to negotiate anymore. The 2011 collective-bargaining agreement introduced specific, narrow, decreasing remuneration levels for all picks from Rounds 1-7.
The club contends that its latest offer to Bosa included:
- a signing bonus payment larger than any NFL draft pick has received over the past two years;
- the promise of more money in this calendar year than every 2016 NFL draftee but No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz will receive;
- the largest payment and highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any San Diego first-round pick since the new CBA kicked in.
One of Bosa’s agents at CAA Sports, Tom Condon, has sparred plenty with the Chargers over the years. He represented Eli Manning, whose family didn’t want the Chargers to take him with the No. 1 pick overall in 2004. San Diego took him anyway and then traded him to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers. Condon also represented Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson and Marty Schottenheimer, all of whom had unhappy departures from the team.
The rhetoric accelerated earlier this month when Cheryl Bosa, Joey’s mother, posted a remark toward the Chargers on Facebook. In a reply to someone frustrated by the impasse, she wrote: “It bums me out for him so much. Wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day.”
Bosa’s father, John, is a former first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins.
The Chargers’ statement on Bosa came just 30 minutes after they released an economic study that shows a combined downtown stadium and an off-site expansion to the city’s convention center will result in a “significant positive impact” on San Diego’s convention and hotel industry. The Chargers will ask voters on Nov. 8 to approve a 4 percent increase in the hotel tax to help pay for the $1.8 billion project.
Three other studies have been released showing that the benefits of the project won’t match its cost.
The Chargers already face an uphill fight. The measure must receive two-thirds of the vote to pass, a number considered impossible to obtain in San Diego.
The team has recently started attacking City Councilman Chris Cate, who said that while he wants the Chargers to stay, he’s opposed to the downtown stadium plan. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has remained silent on the Chargers’ downtown plans. Faulconer wanted the Chargers to build a new stadium at the site of aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.
The Chargers spent most of 2015 working with the rival Oakland Raiders on a plan to build a stadium in Carson, a Los Angeles suburb. NFL owners rejected that plan in January, choosing instead a plan that allowed the Rams to move to Los Angeles and build a stadium in Inglewood set to open in 2019.
The league gave the Chargers the right to join the Rams in that stadium. The Chargers have until Jan. 15 to decide on relocation.
Also Wednesday, the Chargers said defensive end Damion Square has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
CAA’s statement on the Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers situation:
“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.”
As the story has generated so much publicity, don’t be surprised if a quick resolution is found with the Chargers relenting more to the Joey Bosa / CAA demands.
Two reasons why their contract talks need to speed up.
First, the deadline has passed for the Chargers to be able to trade Bosa this season. It was Aug. 11. He now can sign a contract only with the Chargers up to next year’s draft, April 27-29.
Second, if Bosa does not sign by Nov. 15, he cannot play this season.
Time’s ticking as the stare-down continues for Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers