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Antonio Gates to Bosa: Be a man, get ready to play

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Joey Bosa hasn't played a down in the NFL and already he's the face of a franchise, albeit for all the wrong reasons.

The third overall pick is locked in a contract dispute with the San Diego Chargers, a standoff in which there is "no progress ... no conversation," as NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. Bosa's frustration with his franchise is that the Chargers are not offering a contract that allows a first-year signing bonus cash payout or one without offset language.

While the front office is eager to get a deal done -- general manager Tom Telesco told XTRA 1360, "There has to be (a compromise) at some point" -- Bosa's holdout is proving a distraction for those at Chargers camp, and at least one veteran is speaking up.

Legendary Chargers tight end Antonio Gates put in his two cents on the issue this week, telling the San Diego Union Tribune, "My advice to any player that's going through any kind of contract situation is that, at one point, you've got to be a man and you've got to understand that you've got to get ready to play."

Young Bosa should heed the old man's tidings. Gates himself was involved in a contract dispute back in 2005 that resulted in a three-game suspension. The tight end says he learned his lesson not to solely rely on his agents, and Bosa will too.

"Sometimes you've got to just, as a man, you've got to step in and say, 'This is what it's going to be,'" Gates added. "Because sometimes, whether or not (there is) miscommunication with the general manager or the agent, whatever it is, at the end of the day, it's your life, it's your career.

"And you kind of know what's best for you, and you know what you need. You still have to have that tunnel vision of being able to go out and perform at the highest level. So, to me, that was always the determining factor when I had issues."

Will Bosa take Gates' advice and pull a Russell Okung, or will his family continue to wish he pulled an Eli Manning? The clock's ticking.

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