Joey Bosa Holdout: San Diego Chargers Pull Contract Offer To First-Round Pick

Despite nearly every NFL draft expert expecting the San Diego Chargers to select either Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil or Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the team decided to surprise everyone and take defensive end Joey Bosa out of Ohio State.

“He’s been the No. 1 guy for a while. Probably since September,” San Diego Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said after the team drafted Joey. “In the end it wasn’t that hard of a decision for us.”

Bosa spent three seasons in Columbus, where he recorded 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss. Although Joey only posted five sacks last season, it was due to the double and triple teams he faced on an every down basis. Bosa was clearly the top pass-rusher in the 2016 NFL draft, an area where the Chargers were lacking as the team finished 24th in the NFL with only 32 sacks.

Unfortunately, Bosa and the Chargers have yet to agree on a contract as we head into the third week of the NFL preseason.

The standoff between the two teams has become rather messy and public over recent weeks, with Joey’s mom even saying, “It bums me out for (Joey) so much. I wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day.”

Cheryl Bosa was referring to when Manning forced a draft-day trade from the Chargers to the New York Giants in 2004.

As messy as the situation has gotten, it’s always been expected that Joey Bosa would end his holdout and sign with the Chargers prior to the season.

That expectation may have changed on Wednesday when the Chargers decided to go public with their latest offer to Joey, which was rejected, and claim that they are now going to have to start reducing the offer because it’s clear that Bosa won’t be able to contribute for the entire 2016 season because he’s missed so much time.

Here’s the entire statement via the San Diego Chargers’ Twitter account.

There are two things at the root of this standoff — offset language in the contract and the timing of bonus payments. Yahoo Sports’ Frank Schwab explains it really well in his latest piece on the Joey Bosa situation.

“Bosa is the Chargers’ first top-10 pick since 2011, when the current CBA was agreed upon. In many cases for top picks, teams have given in on the offset language issue — which allows a player to earn his entire rookie contract and also a salary from a second team if he’s cut during his four-year rookie deal — or paid the entire signing bonus in the same calendar year. Two teams usually give one or the other. The Chargers have been reportedly unwilling to give in on either, because they are unwilling to set a precedent.”

It seems that both sides have dug in and neither is willing to compromise on either issue, which really makes one wonder if Bosa is actually willing to sit out the entire 2016 season. If Joey chooses to do that, he could re-enter the 2017 draft and the Chargers wouldn’t be able to draft him.

The last time an NFL player didn’t come to terms on a rookie contract with a team and re-entered the draft the following year was Craig Erickson way back in 1991. Erickson was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft but ended up tearing up his knee at a Hula Bowl practice. He sat out the entire season and re-entered the 1992 draft, where he was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round.

It would certainly be a big risk to take for Joey Bosa, but after what transpired today, it’s possible that the relationship has been damaged beyond repair. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks regarding this contract standoff.

[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]

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