The never-ending contract dispute between Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers has become bothersome. In fact, it has festered beyond the point of absurdity and it's time for someone - me - to call bullsh*t. So let's break this mess down point-by-point in a language we can all understand and see if we can't decipher between reality and fiction.
By way of a quick recap, the two sides are hung up on two key contractual points; 1) offset language and 2) signing bonus deferment.
For both sides, the entire holdout comes down to a debate of precedent.
The Bosa camp is arguing that since the slotting system, which assigns the length, total value and bonus money in rookie deals based on where the player is drafted was instituted, the precedent has been repeatedly set for top five picks to receive either no offset or no deferment.
For the Chargers part, they would have us believe removing the offset language and/or eliminating the bonus deferment simply isn't done. They would have us believe they are simply pushing for what all other teams write into their rookie contracts, that they are merely protecting the way they do business and cannot set a new precedent for anyone, especially not a rookie.
But what if the facts paint a different portrait entirely? What if the Chargers are full of sh*t?
Fact: Since the slotting system went into effect in 2012 (five drafts), every third overall pick has signed a contract in which either the offset was removed or their signing bonus was paid in full by the end of their rookie season, as Bosa is requesting.
Fact: 16 of the 20 top five picks from 2012-2015 either received their bonus by the end of their rookie season or had the offset language removed from their deal.
Fact: Three of the top five picks, and five of the top seven picks to have signed this year, either have no offset language or will receive their bonus before the end of the 2016 season.
Fact: Both Jared Goff and Jalen Ramsey signed deals which guaranteed them their signing bonus before the end of the 2016 season AND removed the offset language.
What does all this mean? Simply put, it means that while it may not be the "Chargers way" to negotiate the offset language or the timing of the signing bonus, it is how the league conducts its business with its top five picks. This really makes how they go about their business irrelevant and makes them look petty.
And now the kicker...Joey's camp has reportedly been very upfront about their willingness to compromise on these points by settling for one or the other. And they have communicated this stance since May. They aren't, as some has reported, holding out for both. Much to the contrary, it's pretty clear the offset language would become a non-issue if the team would just give some ground on the bonus.
In other words, the Chargers earned the third pick in the draft, entertained trade offers, and elected to draft a player they've coveted for nearly three years. They made that player the first defensive player off the board, gushed about his having come from a "football family", raved about his work ethic and desire to be great...and then promptly tried to strong-arm he and his super agent into taking a deal no third overall pick has ever accepted in the history of the slotting system because "that's how they do business". Like I said, I call bullsh*t.
I think what bothers me the most about this whole ordeal is that the Chargers had to know this was the cost of doing business in the top five and they still decided to attempt to strong-arm Tom Condon and Joey Bosa into taking a deal no other third overall pick has accepted in the history of the slotting system. Frankly, trying to pull this garbage with Tom Condon, of all agents, speaks volumes of just how out of touch they are with the rest of the league and, of course, sheds an unfavorable light on how they go about their business.
So, the question becomes, why won't the Chargers pick up the phone, agree to pay Bosa's bonus out early and get this deal done? Why on earth do they feel the need to apply leverage and over complicate a situation that should be simple?
Why? Because If history has shown us anything, it's that the Chargers almost always do things the wrong way. That's why I submit to you that the time has come for the team to stop worrying about how "they do business" and focus instead on how the league conducts business with its top five picks. That's right; it's time to stop treating their NFL franchise like a freaking corner lemonade stand, stop stepping on their own d*cks, and get this done. This is embarrassing and it needs to end now.
So, with all this in mind, I call bulls*t; and its time everyone else did, too.