Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hardball in S.D.

Look, I don't know what Joey Bosa (or his people) is thinking. His dad held out as a rookie, too, many moons ago, so maybe this is just genetics at work.

What I do know is the San Diego Chargers have inserted the nuclear launch codes and started the countdown to Armegeddon, and there's no turning back now. Their public call-out of Bosa, the No. 3 pick in the draft and the only first-rounder still holding out, is a point-of-no-return move that guarantees nothing but acrimony with a player who, as a first-round pick, represents a commodity you don't want to risk squandering.

But they're well on the road to doing it. After Bosa (and his people) rejected the Chargers' "best offer," they released a statement to the media basically painting their top pick as a money-grubbing tool who was rejecting an initial signing bonus payment larger than any rookie has gotten in the past two drafts. He was also, the Chargers said, turning down more first-year money than any 2016 rookie except Eagles' pick Carson Wentz, and snubbing the "largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year" of any Chargers first-round pick since the adoption of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement in 2011.

In other words: We're offering this guy the moon. But he wants the stars, too.

That, of course, assumes the Chargers are telling the truth about all of the above, which is in no way certain. Since they presented no numbers to back up what they're saying, it's basically just a lot of expended oxygen. As someone once almost said, the first casualty of contract negotiations is the truth.

That's certainly the case with the part of the Chargers' statement that indicated they would be putting a less cushy deal on the table from here on out, because from here on out Bosa, unless he comes in immediately, would not be giving the Chargers a full 16 games of value. Which is absurd, because with few exceptions (and Bosa isn't one), no rookie ever gives a full 16 games of value. Either he starts out as a backup or spends half the season learning how to play the pro game. Almost no one steps in and is a fully-formed All-Pro from the first snap of his first game.

Better for the Chargers had they simply said they were reducing their offer as punishment for Bosa's holding out than to invent some flimsy rationale like this. It would have lent the rest of their statement more credibility.

None of this is to suggest that Bosa  isn't being a tool, understand. Or a fool.
Continuing to stand firm at this point, after all, is a no-win proposition for him, too. All it means if  he winds up sitting out the entire season is he doesn't make the $17 million he would have made had he accepted the Chargers' offer yesterday. That's lost revenue he's unlikely ever to recoup no matter how sweet a deal he winds up landing further down the road.

So why not just sign now, play your ass off and cash in later?

Eventually, that's what's going to happen anyway. The only difference now is, down that road, it likely won't be with the Chargers. That's what their stance will cost them.

So this is your classic lose-lose. Which Chargers fans, frankly, are probably used to.

No comments:

Post a Comment