The world of slotted rookie contracts is more complex than we initially expected.
That's the feeling of Joey Bosa's agent, Todd France, anyway. France, who is one of the NFL's top agents, joined SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday in an attempt to explain why he felt it was better for the No. 3 pick in the draft to be missing camp while his deal gets worked out.
"You are a little more boxed in from the pure dollar standpoint, total dollars, but there are a lot of moving parts," he said. "Language-wise, there's different things you can look at. And, then, obviously, how you structure it, especially in those top 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 picks in the first round, whether those bonuses in the second and third, fourth year -- those training-camp roster bonuses -- do you not want those? What's the cash flow? What's the deferral? Those types of things.
"Time value of money is a legit thing, especially at millions of dollars," France continued. "Do you want to get all of your money in this year? Is it going to be spread out over the next two or three years? So those are some of the moving parts. And sometimes it's easier when you're dealing with teams and sometimes it's harder. And, again, there's a lot of moving parts. If it was just a no-brainer-type thing they would be done in one second."
From France's perspective, the deal is more than just offset language, which is what we've been led to believe. From the get-go, the story was that Bosa was haggling the ability to double-dip his salary if he's cut by the Chargers with guaranteed money remaining on his deal, but signs with another team.
John Spanos, the Chargers' president of football operations, continued to hint at offset language being the main culprit however. In an interview on Monday with XEPRS-AM in San Diego, Spanos addressed the situation.
"I would say that there are a lot of things in our business that come with the territory and negotiating contracts are one of them. That's part of the business," he said. "Was it disappointing to have 89 players instead of 90 in for camp? Sure. But these things tend to work themselves out and the good thing was, when Joey Bosa was here he looks great."
On offset language, he added: "It is something that every single one of our players -- all the first-round picks that we've had in this system, free agents, our star quarterback, Philip Rivers, all of them have it. So we're trying to treat everyone the same.
"Without offset language, it could unfortunately create the scenario where, as a player in that fourth year, if a player knows he has a million guaranteed from us and can go double dip and earn from another team, it actually in essence creates an incentive to get cut financially. You can make more money getting cut."
On one hand, it's easy to see why the Chargers would toe the line here when every other player has their deals done in a certain way. On the other, whatever. Bosa is a No. 3 overall pick and with good coaching and sound management, this will never be a concern over the life of his rookie contract. Plus, if Bosa flames out so badly that he's cut before the conclusion of his rookie deal, how much is another team signing him for anyway? Would it significantly defray the cost? And is that money worth the supposed lynch pin of their defense missing the most important instructional period of the offseason?