Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson thinks Joey Bosa is getting some bad advice.
"I hope he comes to the senses -- I won't even say "him" come to his senses -- but I hope that he will get better advice from this point," the former first-round running back and future Hall of Famer said Wednesday evening, in between broadcasting for NFL Network at Chargers Park. "It seems like he's not getting great advice. "
Tomlinson, of course, is referring to the fact Bosa still isn't in training camp, making him the only unsigned player from this year's draft class. Bosa remains in a stalemate with the team over issues with his contract -- namely, a disagreement over offset language and the speed in which he will receive his signing bonus.
The No. 3 overall pick has missed 13 days of camp so far -- longer than any player has held out since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.
So, how can Bosa help himself?
According to LT:
"He has to remember the agent works for him. He's his own man. At the end of the day if he wants to be here, he can make that happen. All he has to say is, 'Hey listen, I want to go to camp. It's time. This has gone on too long. Make it happen.'
"Obviously our parents love us, and they're going to always have our back, but they're going to follow the decision that we make. So if he wants to be here, his parents are going to be happy with him being back at camp."
With the Chargers playing their first preseason game Saturday in Tennessee, it's becoming more of a reality that even when Bosa does sign, there's a good chance he won't be ready for the team's first regular season game on Sept. 11 in Kansas City.
"That's what you're concerned with, because he's going to have to get in shape -- that's going to take two weeks -- and then, again, find what role they're going to have for him," said Tomlinson, who missed most of camp his rookie season due to a contract dispute under the old CBA. "It can be very damaging, in particular for his position. He's a guy that really needs to be getting as many reps as possible, really building some chemistry with the rest of that defensive line and finding his role. He's not going to be dependent on being the guy to get 12 sacks, but he's going to play a vital role on this defense. The longer you miss, the harder it's going to be to get acclimated out here.
"If I'm not mistaken, he really didn't do much this offseason. He missed a lot of time. He missed some OTAs, did rookie minicamp, [but missed the final OTA and team minicamp]. So, you don't know what you have in him yet. And there's no way to possibly know until you get out here in the pads, and they see him working, and they see how they can use him."
Bosa made more headline news earlier this week after his mom, Cheryl, made a comment on Facebook that she "wished they would have pulled an Eli Manning" on draft day. Tomlinson was part of the Chargers when the Manning family did pull an Eli -- acknowledging that they didn’t want their son to play in San Diego -- and says it can leave a bitter taste in the mouths of teammates.
"I was here when the whole Eli thing happened," he said. "I wasn't happy about that. I felt disrespected, like this was our team and we put our heart and soul into trying to win every week, and to have a player say they don't want to come play with you, it can be tough. You can get your feelings hurt as a player."
Even if it's not the player, but the mom?
"When it comes from a mom, that means it's been talked about," Tomlinson said.
With both sides digging their heels into their respective positions, it's unclear when Bosa will finally make it into camp.
One thing seems certain, though.
"It's terribly damaging not having him here," Tomlinson said.
From one first-round pick to another.