San Diego Chargers Must Trade Joey Bosa As A Future Resolution To Their Stalemate

Joey Bosa may never play a down of NFL football for the San Diego Chargers this season. The surprising part is that he is not injured. In a rare situation, at least since the current NFL collective bargaining agreement, Bosa may not suit up for the Chargers due to a contract dispute. It raises the question of should the Chargers cut their ties with their top draft pick by trading him after the end of the 2016 season.

If the San Diego Chargers were to trade him in the offseason, which NFL team makes sense?

What is taking place between Bosa and the Chargers is a bizarre plot twist that few storylines could muster. You have a player in Joey Bosa, who many people believed was the top defensive player in the 2016 NFL draft. Some even felt he was the best player overall. Everything that has taken place is unexpected and quite frankly unexplainable.

Because the Chargers needed an offensive lineman, no one expected them to take the Ohio State defensive end at No. 3. Most everyone had Bosa pegged with the Dallas Cowboys, who had the No. 4 pick. And if he fell past the Cowboys, it was likely that the Cleveland Browns would have grabbed him. What is funny is that the Chargers do not run the 4-3 defense which suits Bosa’s ability as a pass-rusher.

The signs were everywhere about Bosa and the Chargers being a terrible match. No one could have predicted the contract standstill would go on this long. Once it was announced that the Chargers had pulled their best offer, courtesy of ESPN, to Bosa off the table, eyebrows were raised. Especially those of his agents, who believe that the Chargers may have manipulated the story so that it favors them. Bosa’s agents released a statement which mentions the timing of their client’s arrival to training camp.

“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 reported offer the Chargers had on the table would have been the highest of any draft pick, with the exception of Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback, Carson Wentz. That makes Bosa and his representatives appear greedy. Conversely, the Chargers’ take it or leave it approach with Bosa sets a bad precedent.

Bosa is a rookie, with a slotted contract, why was this allowed to go on so long? This has been badly mismanaged by the San Diego Chargers.

Once the August 9 deadline to trade Joey Bosa was approaching, the Chargers should have washed their hands with him. With teams that were interested, perhaps even willing to deal, the Chargers should have pounced. Now they have lost much of the the trade value Bosa had, which will only return if he sits out the entire season.

There is no way that Bosa can play himself into good enough shape to make a huge impact. He can still contribute if he signs, but that does not seem to be an option at this time.

Again, this was a doomed experiment from the very start.

Joey Bosa to the San Diego Chargers should have never happened. The adults in the room are supposed to be the Chargers’ front office members and Bosa’s representatives. Somehow, everyone has failed during this stalemate.

At this point, so much acrimony has bubbled up that things may never be at peace. If Bosa eventually agrees to sign the deal that the Chargers have handed him, everything he does from now until the deal is over will be under heavy scrutiny.

Here is an example.

What if Bosa does sign his rookie contract, and he has to sit out a game with an ailing body part? Will the media jump on his case? What about the fans? Will they pile up on him? The instant belief is that he has chosen himself above the team. Judging by the optics, Bosa missing a game could mean that he wanted to stick it to the Chargers. Again, that is the optics.

One person who is against Bosa holding out is former Chargers’ great, Ladainian Tomlinson.

Tomlinson mentioned that there is a possibility of Bosa alienating his Chargers’ teammates.

“You can run the risk of alienating yourself from your teammates and also from the organization. A lot of people think, ‘Oh, the player could be scarred by this from the organization and not like the organization,’ it can be vice versa. The organization can feel like, ‘This guy will be a problem his whole entire career,’ so that could jeopardize what happens in three or four years when Joey comes up for a contract.”

The San Diego Chargers have made it possible for Bosa to look like the villain. Anytime Joey Bosa gets hurt, unless he is carted off the field, will come across as if he is only looking out for himself. And that is a shame.

A resolution to this stalemate would be for the San Diego Chargers to trade Bosa after the season to a team willing to give up a couple of draft picks. A trade package must include next year’s first or second-round pick, and a middle-round selection.

The Browns, Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, and San Francisco 49ers could have interest in the Chargers’ defensive lineman. Another team to keep an eye on is the New York Giants. These would be a few of the teams who would be checking in on Bosa if he was eligible to be traded now. If either team had a chance to trade for Bosa, they would have been comfortable with giving up their future first-round for arguably 2016 draft’s best player.

It is safe to say that the Chargers really blew it with Joey Bosa. But the Ohio State standout deserves some blame also. He and his representatives could have been more willing to make something happen by now. It never had to come to this.

Going forward, the San Diego Chargers and Joey Bosa will either have to learn to coexist or go their separate ways at season’s end. The educated guess here is that there will be a meeting of the minds. Some form of compromise will be made in order for both sides to save face. Still, Bosa’s possible impact with the Chargers will diminish with each day that he remains unsigned.

Another team would have already had Joey Bosa in the fold and making plays. The San Diego Chargers are choosing to have the contract stalemate make headlines. It is not the first time the Chargers have done so, and it looks bad. A trade is the only sensible resolution here. We will have to wait to watch this play out.

[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]

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