McMullen: Chargers never had to worry about a Mike Williams holdout

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What a difference a year makes for the Chargers and this is not about the two-hour move up Interstate-5 in California.

On the eve of their rookie camp, the now Los Angeles-based Chargers signed their first-round draft choice, wide receiver Mike Williams.

That comes on the heels of haggling with top pick Joey Bosa throughout the summer last year despite the fact that the current CBA has virtually eliminated rookie holdouts in favor of a structured slotting system with little room for disagreement.

Somehow, though, the Chargers and Bosa figured out ways to fight like an old married couple addicted to the act just for the sake of fighting.

Bosa essentially complained about offset language in his deal and the dates his guaranteed money would be paid out, roadblocks that kept the former Ohio State star out until late August.

Turns out, missing the work didn’t matter all that much to the ultra-talented Bosa, who was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year after tallying 10.5 sacks in 12 games.

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

Despite that, the Chargers obviously didn’t want a repeat of what went on last year and were able to come to terms with Williams, the seventh-overall pick in April who is represented by the same agency as Bosa, CAA.

Williams agreed to the standard four-year deal with a team option and $19.75 million fully guaranteed.

So what’s different this time around?

Probably nothing more than the player’s desire to get things started. Like Bosa, Williams enters the NFL with tremendous expectations as a top-10 pick and will be required to hit the ground running in the Chargers’ passing game opposite Keenan Allen.

With Philip Rivers throwing the lengthy Williams the football, big numbers will be anticipated, and anything that could affect that end game is not a positive for the Clemson product.

Arguing about offset language that virtually never comes into play with high-level picks or the dates the actual money is going to hit your account aren’t important for most, and things reverted back to normal for the Chargers.

In fact, an NFL source confirmed to that there was virtually no change in the organization’s negotiating style coming off the Bosa issues because that was the anomaly, not a sign of things to come.

Rookie holdouts under the current CBA are directly tied to the individual.

The excuses might be the offset language, the timing of the check or the desire to miss a few OTAs or minicamp practices. But they are all just excuses for wanting to stay away because the deals themselves are now as boilerplate as they come.

What Bosa ultimately signed in San Diego wasn’t all that different than what was first offered, with a couple dots of the I’s and crossing of the T’s moved around to give the illusion that his absence meant something for both sides of the equation.

Had Bosa underperformed and essentially derailed his rookie season, both sides would have come off looking poorly.

Now all the acrimony is forgotten and the Chargers hope it will never be back, at least until the next CBA and potential changes to the rookie-wage system are implemented.