The San Diego Chargers' contract impasse with No. 3 draft pick Joey Bosa hit a new low on Wednesday.
Bosa has been holding out of training camp and preseason, reportedly refusing to sign his rookie year deal over a deferred signing bonus and "offset language" — a stipulation that prevents a team from paying the remainder of a player's contract if he gets cut before his contract expires.
With the regular season just two weeks away, the Chargers reportedly made Bosa "their best offer," and it was rejected by Bosa's camp.
The Chargers believe that with Bosa's extended absence from training camp, he won't be ready for the start of the regular season. And if he can't play all 16 games, then the Chargers won't make him a bigger offer than what they've presented.
The statement and the details of the offer are surely a negotiating tactic to try and incite some urgency within Bosa's camp to take the deal. Though the Chargers have often cited a precedent with the way they've typically handled rookie contracts, if Bosa, one of the stars of the rookie class, wanted a slightly better offer, there's not much reason for the Chargers to resist.
However, Bosa also may be taking a gamble if the Chargers stand firm. Although he was one of the top prospects in the draft, he's unproven in the NFL, is likely not in game shape if he were to report in time for Week 1, and he's virtually unfamiliar with the Chargers' defensive concepts. He doesn't have much negotiating power. Furthermore, if other Chargers players have followed the precedent for rookie contracts, Bosa's holdout may be irksome to other players who'd prefer he simply show up and get to work.
There's still time for this to be worked out, but both sides are running out of time to get Bosa ready for all 16 games.
CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 17: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on before the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Jerod Mayo #51 of the New England Patriots reacts after he sacked Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins in the second half at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
RETIRING A PATRIOT.
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 27, 2015: Tight end Heath Miller #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches the action from the sideline during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 27, 2015 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore won 20-17. (Photo by: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
After 11 seasons and two Lombardi trophies, Heath Miller retires in Black & Gold.
📰 | https://t.co/rUr3Yf1XPd https://t.co/RWH0yFgWab
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 25: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on October 25, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Vikings defeated the Lions 28-19. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/Detroit Lions/Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson retires from the National Football League: https://t.co/8YgcYxLjNS https://t.co/IdC1yIMX8R
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 25: Jared Allen #69 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a sack of Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 25, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 27-16. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Riding off into the sunset https://t.co/wZXovseGKS
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 8: Corey Wootton #99 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Oakland Raiders on August 8, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 10-6. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Thank you all for the support! https://t.co/wHQqWkAirF
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 07: Logan Mankins #70 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the start of the game gainst the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 7, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Buccaneers 34-17. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Ex-#Patriots & #Bucs G Logan Mankins was tough, nasty, played through the whistle… and is a great dude when the play ends. One of a kind.
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13: Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Indianapolis Colts drops back to pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on December 13, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the Colts 51-16. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
It has been an honor and a pleasure.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 22: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) D'Brickashaw Ferguson #60 of the New York Jets greets fans after a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 22, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Browns 24-13. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Thank you for the numerous messages of support. It has been a blessing to be apart of the NYJ. My letter to you https://t.co/hcIRk41QtM
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 24: Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett #90 of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during the preseason NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
To the founder of the #BirdGang, @ddockett, congrats on a great career! #ThanksNineO
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Percy Harvin #18 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown reception against the Indianapolis Colts on September 13, 2015 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Indianapolis 27-14. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Percy Harvin told the Bills he is retiring, per source.
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 18: Wide receiver Ricardo Lockette #83 of the Seattle Seahawks gestures to the crowd during the game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on October 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
I just wanted to make my teammates, family, & The 12th Man proud!!!! #weallwegot
Thank you, Peyton, and congratulations on your magnificent 18-year NFL career! https://t.co/YdMt19tQ2i https://t.co/jYDXpMmlUA