If anyone in San Diego knows what Joey Bosa's going through right now, it's Antonio Gates.
Back in 2005, the veteran Chargerstight end didn't like the contract that the team was offering him, so he ended up holding out of training camp until late August. Things got so nasty that year that Gates ended up being suspended three games (two preseason and one regular season) after the Chargers gave him a deadline to sign their offer, which Gates didn't take.
Although Bosa isn't in the exact same situation -- Gates wasn't a rookie -- it is similar. The No. 3 overall pick is holding out, and as of right now, he doesn't plan on signing until he gets what he wants. The rookie wants the Chargers to either give him his bonus money in 2016, instead of deferring payment to March 2017, or he wants offset language taken out of his deal.
The two sides haven't spoken since July 28, and things seem to be getting uglier by the day.
As for Gates, he sees a simple way out of the impasse: The tight end says Bosa needs to "be a man" and stop relying on his agent so he can get on the field.
"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. "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, 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."
Gates' reasoning for his advice is that you're the only one who truly knows what's best for you, and not being on the field isn't good for Bosa.
"You kind of know what's best for you, and you know what you need," Gates said. "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."
For Gates, his holdout had a happy ending. Two days after he ended his 2005 holdout by signing a one-year, $380,000 tender, the team rewarded him with a six-year, $22.5 million deal. Gates showed up before he got the extension because he didn't want to hurt his team.
"Eventually, I ended up saying, 'I need to get ready,'" Gates said. "To me, it meant a lot for me to go out and perform."
On Bosa's end, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco seems optimistic that a deal will eventually get done. It's just going to take some compromise.
"Well, there has to be [a compromise] at some point," Telesco told XTRA 1360 in San Diego. "It's important to us, we drafted him for a reason, we want him here. There's no two people who want him here more, right now, than myself and Coach McCoy. He's someone that we took for a reason, to help this football team. We have to get it done, someway, some how. There's just a hurdle we just can't get over that's hindering negotiations right now. No one wants it done more than we do."
So is there any update on the negotiations?
"The next update will be when it's done," Telesco said.
Hopefully that will be soon, because the Bosa negotiations are a black eye that the Chargers don't need right now. In just three months, citizens of San Diego will head to the ballots to cast a vote on whether or not to build the Chargers a new stadium.