David Boston Goes to Tampa


Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted beleaguered receiver David Boston in a free agent workout. The visit came as somewhat of a surprise, since the 27-year-old has essentially become an afterthought over the last two years of his NFL career. In six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals , San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins , the former Ohio State standout has caught 315 passes. His talent seems boundless, but he has been riddled with concerns over his injury history as well as his personality.

Rounding out the Buccaneers’ top three receivers at the moment are Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton and rookie Maurice Stovall. Veteran Ike Hilliard joins the trio as the fourth receiver and Edell Shepherd is in the mix, too, but Boston’s upside is unquestionably greater than both Hilliard’s and Shepherd’s.

Although the Bucs’ top three looks good enough on paper, some concern can still be drawn from it. Galloway had a huge year last year, but at 34, there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to keep up his torrid pace. After a wonderful rookie season in 2004, Clayton sunk to earth in 2005, catching just 32 passes. Lastly, Stovall’s only a third-rounder, so it’s not a sure bet that he’ll be able to step in and get the job done as a first-year player.

Between 1999-2001, Boston was thought of as one of the elite receivers in the NFL. He pulled in 209 receptions in those three seasons, despite playing in what was a putrid Cardinals offense. In 2000 and 2001 Boston had consecutive seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving. In 2000, he caught 71 balls for 1,156 yards. He followed that up with a 98-catch, 1,598-yard effort in the '01 season. Unfortunately for Boston, it all went downhill from there.

Over the last three seasons of his career Boston has played in only 27 games, and has caught just 102 passes. He’s been struck down by poor performances, off-field drug issues and constant steroid accusations. The 228-pounder’s incredibly muscular frame has drawn suspicions from the League office, which has given the veteran numerous steroid tests. However, he’s passed them all with flying colors. Consider him the Barry Bonds of football, even though the size of the receiver’s head hasn’t grown astronomically in the last few years. Perhaps Boston’s body is legit, but only he truly knows.

One of the most alarming things that has happened to Boston in his pro career took place in 2004. He tore his patellar tendon, which cost him the entirety of the season; it was unfortunate for the Dolphins, who gave up a sixth-round choice in the ‘05 draft to acquire Boston from the Chargers. Injuries of Boston’s caliber happen often in America’s football landscape, but whenever it happens to someone the public is suspicious of taking performance-enhancing drugs, a red flag is raised. Thus, Boston’s tendon tear may seem like a normal injury; however, because of his past, some believed it happened because of steroids, which was more fuel for his critics’ fire.

If Boston does indeed end up signing a contract with Tampa for the veteran minimum, it would be a good investment for the Bucs. Why? Because they get someone with high upside who has shown flashes of absolute brilliance in the past. Tampa’s current stable of wideouts is above-average, but it could always improve.

Tampa’s infamous head coach, Jon Gruden, knows a little something about dealing with volatile receivers from his days with Keyshawn Johnson. In the event that “Chucky” doesn’t believe he can tame Boston, the signing won’t happen. If Gruden can coexist with Boston and he feels the receiver can be helpful, the signing will take place. For a Bucs offense that isn’t exactly elite, Boston just might be worth the trouble.

Im thinking this guy is just a one year wonder. I also wonder if he is the freak of nature he used to be?

David Boston was a huge talent, I just think he go too big training with Charles Poliquin. Does he really need to be 250lbs+?

He is really 250+, well in that case he should be a TE. But weighing 250+ would help him take those hits going over in the middle.

There is a major discussion about Boston in the archives.