**I’m Putting It In Big Bold Letters At The Top Of This Post: I Fully Acknowledge And Admit That This Is Nothing But Silly Speculation And Simple Fun. A Trade For Joey Bosa Is Highly Unlikely To Actually Occur**
August 28th’s game against the San Diego Chargers is just a preseason scrimmage, but it marks a big moment… the first game of Minnesota Vikings football to be played in U.S. Bank Stadium. The night will feature plenty to show off, from the sights and sounds of the stadium to, perhaps, a little magic.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman should genuinely consider inviting his San Diego counterpart, Tom Telesco, to one of those luxury suites to partake in the festivities. With any luck, Telesco gets swept up in some of that magic, and Spielman is able to show off some of his own skills by inquiring into the availability of an extremely talented young man that has yet to show up to the Chargers’ building.
Of course, I’ve been around the block long enough to know that this article is essentially just fan fiction and that NFL trades aren’t as simple as video games might have us believe. But if you are looking to take a break from the obsessive monitoring of Minnesota’s injury situations, then take this fantastical leap with me for a few minutes.
First, let us take a look at what it is preventing San Diego from fielding their third overall selection, Joey Bosa. According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, the main sticking points in negotiations have very little to do with dollar amounts and everything to do with structure.
Bosa will receive a four-year, $26 million contract with a team option for a fifth year. This impasse is rooted in differences about how soon Bosa will receive his payments on a $17 million signing bonus and whether offset language will be included in the contract to protect the team in the long-shot event that Bosa is released before his fourth season.
That means the Chargers have let the player many heralded as the top prospect of this class miss training camp and at least two preseason games because Janine in the Accounting Department has dug her heels in about an issue that 99.9% of Chargers fans could care less about.
It also means that Bosa and his agent Brian Ayralt are digging their heels in, presumably because they binge watched HBO’s hit series “Ballers” and suddenly felt inspired to create silly storylines.
As if Janine in Accounting versus Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t entertaining enough for you, you may have missed the parts of this story where Bosa’s mother wrote, “Wish we pulled an Eli Manning on draft day” online. Or, you missed Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson giving their own takes on the young player’s decision to remain absent from Chargers football for so long.
There have been a few headlines suggesting hope exists in this situation, and we all know things can change fast in this league, but a resolution hasn’t come and Sunday will mark Bosa’s third missed preseason game.
According to Spotrac, the Minnesota Vikings could afford Bosa’s contract by a slim margin, as they have an estimated $6.8 million in salary cap space for this year. A rookie in Bosa’s draft slot should end up carrying a cap hit just under $5 million in the first year.
After checking with Rob in Winter Park’s Accounting Department, I am sure the Vikings could feel confident in their ability to afford Bosa’s contract, because we all know that Rob in Accounting is a wizard with cap numbers. They could make it work.
Do the Vikings need Bosa? Of course not.
Mike Zimmer’s defense is incredibly solid, particularly at defensive end, and any short-term needs lists generated would certainly start with the offensive line and then jump immediately to punter.
Still, if the Vikings’ evaluation of Bosa was anywhere close to that of national pundits and analysts, and he truly is expected to be an annual Pro Bowl pass rusher, do we care about needs? I’m not sure that “needs” apply when discussing elite talents at this level… You find a spot for great and versatile players like Bosa, sometehing Zimmer is particularly good at.
If you are a needs person, though, then I’ll just point out that the Vikings have a number of defensive ends and outside linebackers with contracts set to expire in 2016 and 2017. Brian Robison, Anthony Barr, Chad Greenway, Emmanuel Lamur, and Justin Trattou all fall into that category with varying degrees of uncertainty.
Regardless, I’m always in favor of the Vikings finding five star players to put on the horns, and Bosa certainly fits that description.
Pro Football Focus had him as their top overall prospect of 2016, like so many others, and they had this to say about him:
Bosa’s production was as good as it gets in the country the last two years and he’s the best player in the draft. He’s versatile enough to move around the defensive line, providing strong run defense and an effective pass rusher, though a 4-3 scheme will make best use of his talents.
I chose that paragraph not because of any particular affinity for the source, but because I feel like it nicely sums up Bosa’s pre-Draft projections. I also think this guy sounds like a player that would thrive with the mentoring, and within the scheme that Mike Zimmer provides.
I think his star could actually shine even brighter in Minnesota than it ever did at Ohio State, and that is saying a lot. Most Vikings fans never considered it, because our 2016 draft position pretty much dictated that we wouldn’t have shot at him unless something went horribly awry, but Sunday presents Spielman with the unique opportunity to potentially lay the groundwork in person as he has been known to do at NFL events such as the Pro Bowl and Scouting Combine.
If this fantasy of mine came true (see the disclaimers posted at both the top and the bottom of this post), then that groundwork would involve a blockbuster trade that would almost certainly involve giving up a hefty bounty to the Bolts.
I’m not sure what the damage would be in terms of trade compensation, but nothing about this situation suggests that the Chargers are easy to negotiate with or prone to give in to outside projections of pressure and fear. Just ask Bosa.
Still, if there is one glimmer of light, even the slightest opening that suggests a bargain could be had, this fan boy hack blogger would be all in on Spielman adding one more extremely talented player to an already extremely talented Vikings roster before the season kicks off.
After all, opposing quarterbacks can’t beat you if they’re curled up in the fetal position, hugging the pylon while tearfully asking for someone to swoop down and take them away from all the bad men.
**I’m Putting It In Big Bold Letters At The Bottom Of This Post: I Fully Acknowledge And Admit That This Is Nothing But Silly Speculation And Simple Fun. A Trade For Joey Bosa Is Highly Unlikely To Actually Occur**
***Note From the Author: As an astute reader pointed out, not only is this trade unlikely to happen… It’s impossible. It was fun while it lasted.***
Deadline for Chargers to trade Joey Bosa's draft rights has come and gone. SD never considered it. Two sides now haven't spoken in 12 days.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 9, 2016