You don’t often hear a player discuss his teammate’s contract business in public. But Antonio Gates seems upset that Joey Bosa isn’t in San Diego Chargers training camp.
Bosa, the third pick of the NFL draft, is having the kind of holdout we almost never see anymore. Not only has he not reported to camp, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Tuesday that the team and Bosa’s representatives hadn’t spoken in 12 days.
Gates, the Chargers’ veteran tight end, didn’t use Bosa’s name but made it clear he has to take control of the situation.
“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 told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Gates later doubled down on the “be a man” comment.
“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 said, according to the Union-Tribune. “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.”
Although it’s weird to hear someone talk about a teammate’s contract standoff like that, Gates made some good points. Gates held his own long holdout in 2005, which led to a one-game suspension by the team, but he said he ended his holdout by realizing he wanted to get back on the field.
Gates’ comments assume that Bosa is going along with the advice of his agents and doesn’t believe in taking a stand for offset language in his contract. Bosa hasn’t said much, so it’s tough to say.
But whether it’s Bosa taking a stand or his agents giving him the advice, the holdout seems very counterproductive at this point. Defensive end is a hard position for a rookie and Bosa is setting himself up to struggle as a rookie. It’s also counterproductive for the Chargers, who aren’t going to get the most out of the third pick of the draft this season.
But with little communication between the two sides, it doesn’t seem like the standoff is going to end anytime soon.
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