SAN DIEGO – A month-long ordeal came to an end on Monday, as San Diego Chargers rookie first-round selection Joey Bosa ended his contract stalemate and signed a four-year deal with the team.
Scheduled to report on July 29, Bosa remained unsigned for 31 days before coming to an agreement.
Bosa is at Chargers Park and will practice on Tuesday, but a team official told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Ohio State product will not play in San Diego’s final preseason game on Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers.
Selected No. 3 overall by the Chargers in this year’s draft, Bosa remained unsigned for over a month, the longest a rookie withheld his services under the league’s newest collective bargaining agreement established in 2011.
“We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season,” said general manager Tom Telesco in a statement.
Things turned ugly last week in the contract disagreement, with the team pulling what it called its best offer when Bosa declined to accept it.
The Chargers’ latest offer included paying 85 percent of the signing bonus by December, with the rest paid out in March of next year. Bosa’s camp reportedly wants all of the $17 million paid out by December, or the removal of offset language.
According to Schefter and multiple reports, the Chargers compromised on cash flow in years two, three and four of the agreement, giving Bosa the largest upfront signing bonus installment payment in team history for a veteran or rookie player.
Bosa compromised on the offset language of the contract, according to Schefter and reports.
Bosa’s salary is pegged at about $26 million over four years, with a $17 million signing bonus. The disagreement was over when that $17 million will be paid, and if offset language will be included in the contract structure.
Traditionally, the Chargers have included offset language in contracts to protect the franchise from paying a player’s full salary in the event San Diego releases the player during the guaranteed portion of his deal. Think Ryan Leaf.
Offset language allows the organization to pay the remaining portion of a player’s salary not covered by the new team that signs the released player. Without offset language a player can “double dip,” receiving a full salary from his previous team along with whatever money is negotiated with the new team.
Bosa’s father, John, also was a holdout as an NFL rookie. John Bosa was a defensive lineman drafted No. 16 by the Dolphins in 1987 and held out 41 days before signing his rookie contract, according to ESPN Stats Information.