The San Diego Chargers drafted Ohio State’s stud defensive end Joey Bosa No. 3 overall, hoping he could help lead a defense that has largely been nameless since Shawne Merriman left in 2010.
But, a rather lengthy and increasingly ugly contract dispute has put a damper on those hopes. As the NFL enters the third of four games across the league, Bosa is still not in uniform for the Chargers and a public battle has gotten nasty in recent days.
Whatever side you want to come down on in said battle between management and Bosa’s camp, one thing is for certain according to a handful of GM’s in the NFL — Joey Bosa’s rookie season is already ruined.
According to a report by Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, a handful of NFL GM’s have noted the shame of the length of the holdout and the likelihood of Bosa suffering a lost season even if he were to end the holdout today.
“If Joey Bosa ended his dispute tomorrow,” said one NFC general manager, “he would barely get something from his rookie year. But it won’t end tomorrow. It could be weeks. So effectively, the Chargers threw away the rookie year of their own high draft pick.”
“His rookie season is over,” said another NFC general manager, “and he may not be a Charger.”
The chances of Bosa not being a Charger seem to increase by the day, even if they are still small chances.
One GM told Freeman “there’s a 20 to 30 percent chance that Bosa refuses to play for the Chargers and then re-enters the draft next year”.
That may be a bit of hyperbole, but given the contentious nature of the negotiations as of late, one has to pay attention to the fact that Bosa may be lost for the season should the two sides not be able to settle seemingly Grand Canyon-sized differences over language and payment structures in the rookie contract.
Should Bosa sit out the season he would re-enter the draft and be eligible to be drafted by any team except for the Chargers.
For their part, Bosa’s camp has downplayed the possiblity of Bosa sitting out the entire season, saying the chances of that happening “(are) slim but growing every day.”
There were also a few other things that NFL GM’s seemed to agree upon when talking to Freeman — his rookie season is over, and that the penny-pinching Chargers are screwing up in a major way.
I cannot stress this enough. Every team I speak to thinks the Chargers are ruining Bosa. They are laughing at the Chargers. Laughing at them.
“This is very Chargers,” said one general manager.
When the rest of the NFL is laughing at you (and likely licking their chops at the potential you keep screwing this up), you know things aren’t going your way.