Two weeks after the 2023 draft concluded, the Chargers announced in a single statement that six of their seven drafted rookies had signed their entry contracts. Though fans are conditioned to believe first round picks require the most tedious negotiations, Quentin Johnston was one of these six, instead leaving Tuli Tuipulotu as the sole unsigned draft selection for over a month.
At approximately 1:00pm Monday, the Chargers announced that the final deal was done.
Although Tuipulotu and the Bolts took nearly two months to come to terms, it did not slow him down from training with the team. Despite not having a deal in hand, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reported that Tuipulotu reported for rookie minicamp.
Nope. Tuli Tuipulotu is here on the field for minicamp. https://t.co/zpjN1tOqRf— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) May 12, 2023
There is very little insight circulating as to what delayed this contract in relation to his peers. He is represented by Ness Mugrabi, a young agent that has been David Canter’s right-hand man for some time now (Mugrabi’s story is featured in The Athletic and worth the read).
For those that don’t immediately recognize Canter’s name, he was Eric Weddle’s agent spearheading the confrontational negotiations in Weddle’s final offseason with the Bolts. It might be tempting to assume Canter is just a hardball negotiator that loves making Tom Telesco sweat, but Asante Samuel Jr. was the first Charger from his draft class to sign and he is also represented by Canter.
Whatever the case may be, the Chargers are headed into their 2023 training camp with a fully-signed draft class and no suspected hold-ins. Hopefully, Telesco is focused on acquiring another player or two to round out this roster and locking Justin Herbert in to a lengthy extension.