ESPN.com staff writer Eric D. Williams reported Tuesday the San Diego Chargers were preparing for their Sept. 11 regular season opener without the services of Joey Bosa, the No. 3 overall pick in April's NFL Draft.
The two sides remain far apart as negotiations hit a snag over deferment money and the disbursement schedule of Bosa's $17 million signing bonus.
Tuesday night, the Chargers offered Bosa what they described as their best offer, which Bosa declined Wednesday afternoon.
The Chargers promptly took to Twitter in effort to control the narrative, issuing the following statement (emphasis theirs):
Our contract discussions and offers to the representatives of Joey Bosa have been both fair and structurally consistent with the contracts of every other Chargers player.
Our offer included:
— An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.
— More money in this calendar year than every player in this year's draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).
— The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers' first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).
We gave Joey's representatives our best offer last night, which was rejected today. The offer that we extended was for Joey to contribute during all 16 games and beyond. Joey's ability to contribute for an entire rookie season has now been jeopardized by the valuable time he has missed with his coaches and his teammates. Since Joey will not report at this time, his ability to produce not just early in the season, but throughout the season, has been negatively impacted.
As a result, we will restructure of offer since Joey will be unable to contribute for the full 16 game season without the adequate time on the practice field, in the classroom, and in preseason games.
Bosa's options from here are simple: Take a restructured deal (unlikely) or sit out the 2016 campaign and re-enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
Wednesday night, Bosa's camp issued the following statement Wednesday night through ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter:
It is unfortunate the San Diego Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with Joey Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.
We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.
We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.
At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients. The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.
The Chargers' next preseason game is Sunday in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. ET.