Posted on August 19, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Joey Bosa was a great player for Ohio State. It’s why the San Diego Chargers took him with the third pick in the draft. They saw him as a guy that could make an impact sooner rather than later. But the NFL game is not something you can just jump right into and expect to be great. It takes training and time—all of which Bosa has missed out on because he and the Chargers can’t agree on a contract.
The collective bargaining agreement was supposed to do away with these kinds of issues, but Bosa’s agent has found a couple of demands to hold onto, the Chargers are not budging, and Bosa has yet to report to training camp.
In doing so, he has done himself no favors. The Chargers front office and every other front office in the league will not forget how much of a fuss he made over his rookie contract. Are they going to want to risk having a similar fight with him? What’s to say he isn’t going to think he outplayed his contract and demanded a new one even though it has multiple years left?
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Some of his teammates have questioned his dedication to the game, told him he needs to “man up,” and publicly speculated whether he is in charge or if his mother is.
But there could be relief in sight. The two sides are supposedly talking for the first time in a couple of weeks (USAToday). As to what they are saying—who knows. It is hard to imagine that either has decided to give ground, but Bosa may soon get a helping hand from the Arizona Cardinals (who they play Friday night in Week Two of the preseason).
Cardinals running back David Johnson is considered by many to be one of the up and coming running backs in the NFL. Chris Johnson showed last season that he still has a lot of magic left in his legs. When healthy Andre Ellington is a decent running back as well. With these kinds of weapons, it is not hard to see the Cardinals racking up quite a few yards against the Chargers.
Should that happen, the ball will be squarely in the Chargers court. Last season’s 27th ranked rush defense needs help. Giving up almost 300 yards on the ground to the Titans should be viewed as a cry for help. If the defense gets gouged by the Arizona run game, well—the writing will be on the wall.
Help is available. All the Chargers have to do to get it is allow Joey Bosa to have most of his $17 million signing bonus now rather than half now and half later.
As tempting as it may be to slap the unproven youngster for crying about feeling disrespected, they may have to pay him and let him learn the hard way that respect has to be earned on the field regardless of draft position.