San Diego Chargers Rookie, Joey Bosa, Double Dipping
8/25/16 – by James Fedewa
The San Diego Chargers first round draft pick, Joey Bosa, still has not signed his rookie NFL contract. One month of vacant negotiations, valuable missed practices at training camp, and lost football education opens Joey Bosa’s professional football career. Sure, Joey Bosa stands by his representation at Creative Artist Agency (CAA) and it is any ones guess which side is worse at contract negotiations. Fingers are pointing and fans are getting jittery.
One side will cave in and fold, and soon this ordeal will all be forgotten. The San Diego Chargers will not let a third overall pick slip through the 2016 season, reenter the 2017 NFL Draft and Bosa will not lose a years salary based on his contract demands. There will be a deal, but negotiations must improve as both sides are being very ridged.
CAA is being very firm with their bargaining stance, and the media seems to follow CAA side. A prospect like Joey Bosa can change the face of an NFL franchise, and CAA knows it, so Bosa is CAA’s “Great White Hope” and they are not wavering any discounts or deferred payments. NFL analysts and players appear against CAA and Bosa stance, and favor the Chargers, but both media and analysts are only subjective opinions.
With the Chargers significantly increasing deferred contract payments (from 60% of 85% in the first year of the contract) and CAA continual rejecting contract San Diego’s offers, this shows there is “other” contractual verbiage that is causing rejections and counter offers. What stands out is the “DOUBLE DIPPING” contract payments. If Joey Bosa gets cut by the San Diego Chargers (within the first four years of the contract), the Chargers want to eliminate his contract from their books (which is normal for NFL teams) but hard for rookie to absorb. And if Bosa does sign with another team, Bosa wants to get paid by the Chargers (guaranteed rookie contract) and the NEW team that signs him will also pay him (hence, double-dipping). In reality double-dipping is “promoting negativity” as is viewed as a reward for poor performance. The Chargers are trying to protect themselves if Bosa busts.
Unlike the NBA or MLB, the NFL does NOT guarantee player contracts, so this “double-dip” an odd stance by Bosa and CAA, but very savvy. However, Bosa’s rookie contract is guaranteed, double-dipping goes well beyond guarantee money. CAA is targeting guaranteed contacts by the Chargers, which is a good thing for NFL Players, but fiction for NFL owners. The NFL does not guarantee contracts, nor are guaranteed contract set in the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The NFL rookie wage scale is set, albeit guaranteed, but there are some limitations in the terminology guaranteed rookie contract, which is a lot less than what it used to be (ask Sam Bradford and JaMarcus Russell). So the only real negative hit the Chargers would face, if Bosa is ever cut within his first 4 years of his rookie contract, would be against the Chargers salary cap.
Overall, this contact holdout is really an NFL salary cap issue. If Bosa does get cut, will the balance of his contact go against the Chargers salary cap (i.e. Donald Butler/ Jared Gaither), but not against rookie guaranteed money. This CAA/Bosa contract issue is led by Ed McGuire, the Chargers Vice President of Football Administration, Player Finance (and Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco letting accountants and lawyers subtract from his team).