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Gates: Bolts will welcome Bosa back 'with open arms'

In the eyes of public opinion, the Joey Bosa-Chargers contract standoff has developed into a cold war of accusatory statements.

After Bosa rejected the Chargers' best offer on Wednesday, the Chargers released an unprecedented statement outlining their latest concessions and plans to restructure Bosa's offer, assuming he won't play a full slate in 2016. Bosa's team responded with a release of its own, while president of football operations John Spanos highlighted the evening by calling his draft pick's antics "absolutely asinine."

But on the gridiron, Chargers players and coaches are toning down the animosity, instead offering an olive branch to the distant rookie.

"We all want him here. When he is here, he is one of us," coach Mike McCoy said, per the team's website. "It's the business side of it. We can't wait for him to be here and help us win football games this year. ... I promise you he's working his tail off wherever he is. He's a very talented player."

Antonio Gates told reporters Thursday that Bosa would be "welcomed with open arms" by Chargers players if and when he signs his rookie deal. The veteran tight end made it clear that regardless of contract disputes and the like that "Bolts support each other."

This isn't the first time that the longest-tenured Charger has spoken up on behalf of the team in regards to Bosa's situation. Two weeks ago, Gates told 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."

Gates knows best. The tight end was involved in a contract dispute in 2005 that resulted in him receiving a team-ordered suspension.

All this team unity from the Chargers' sidelines is encouraging, but as McCoy insinuated, Bosa's contract dispute is nothing personal; it's strictly business. Cheerleading from the San Diego roster may help the rookie in the court of public opinion, but settling this standoff is in the hands of lawyers and agents, not the players.

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