In an action that could result in the team’s first-round selection sitting out for the foreseeable future, the San Diego Chargers announced they have pulled their offer to defensive end Joey Bosa after he declined to accept the team’s “best offer” on Wednesday. Points of contention in the contract impasse still include offset language and the earlier payment of deferred signing bonus money. Bosa’s representatives called the team’s move “unfortunate.” The Chargers said in a statement they presented Bosa with an offer on Tuesday night that included:

– an initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any rookie has received in the past two NFL drafts;
– more money in 2016 than every rookie in this year’s class except the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz;
– the “largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar” of any Chargers first-round pick since the adoption of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement in 2011.

The Chargers said Bosa, who was selected No. 3 in the 2016 draft, rejected the offer on Wednesday. In a statement released Wednesday night, Bosa’s representatives claimed that the Chargers “have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. 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,” the statement said. “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.”

According to a source familiar with the negotiation, the Chargers offered to pay Bosa 85 percent of his $17 million signing bonus at the time of signing and the rest in the new league calendar year in March. Bosa’s camp remained steadfast in receiving the entire signing bonus by the end of this year. The Chargers also appear unwilling to move off of the inclusion of offset language in the contract, pointing to the fact that 29 of the 31 first-round draft picks in this year’s draft have offset language in their contracts.

“I’m highly, highly disappointed in the path we’ve had to take,” Chargers owner John Spanos told the San Diego Union-Tribune, regarding the team’s decision to reduce its total financial offer. “It’s so overly clear we had no choice. It would have been more difficult if I felt they were being reasonable. But when you’re dealing with someone who isn’t reasonable, it makes it easy. I’m blown away. At all costs, I wanted to avoid going down this road. They made it overly clear we had no other option. … It’s absolutely asinine. He would have gotten more cash in this calendar year than anyone except [No. 2 overall pick] Carson Wentz.”

The Chargers and Bosa’s representation stopped communication on July 28 once the team realized the Ohio State product would not report to camp. However, talks picked up in the past two weeks, with the Chargers wanting to get Bosa into camp so the team could get him ready for the regular season. Bosa is the only unsigned first-round pick from the 2016 draft.

Bosa cannot be traded this season as, according to NFL rules, he had until Aug. 8 to sign his contract in order for the Chargers to trade his rights to another team. If he were to remain unsigned this season, he is permitted only to sign with the Chargers until the first day of the 2017 draft. Bosa’s father, John, also was a holdout as an NFL rookie. John Bosa was a defensive lineman drafted No. 16 by the Miami Dolphins in 1987 and held out 41 days before signing his rookie contract, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The Chargers dropped Bosa from third string to fourth string at defensive end on the team’s latest depth chart. Darius Philon is listed as the starter, followed by Tenny Palepoi, Zamir Carlis and Bosa.

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