A GOOD RISK

The Dolphins have made their first big splash of the offseason, but it's not likely the David Boston trade will be met with universal approval. Let's face it, the front office can't do anything right in the eyes of some. But what's not to like about this move?

Boston brings some baggage with him, there is no question about that.

Among the accusations that have been made against him are that he's not a team player, his practice habits are questionable, he breaks down, he won't play hurt, and there also have been whispers that he must be doing something illegal to get that ridiculously sculpted body of his.

Then there was his arrest in March of 2002 and his pleading no contest to charges of driving under the influence of drugs. And there was his one-game suspension by the Chargers last year after he got into an argument with a strength coach.

So, yes, there clearly is some risk involved here.

In San Diego, they're looking at the deal as addition by subtraction.

It's entirely possible Boston will come to Miami and become a major headache and ultimately prove to be more trouble than he's worth.

That's the worst-case scenario.

The best-case scenario is that he flourishes again under receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, a guy with whom he has a great relationship.

In fact, Boston will be with the Dolphins next season primarily because of Sullivan. Under his tutelage, Boston had a monster season in 2001, the kind of season the Dolphins have never gotten from any receiver in their history. Not Mark Duper. Not Mark Clayton. Not Nate Moore. Not Irving Fryar.

So what if there's a risk? The Dolphins brass has been criticized for doing everything too close to the vest; you're going to bash them for taking a gamble?

Let's be fair. This potentially is a steal for the Dolphins who give up a low draft pick and a player (Jamar Fletcher) who was going to be cut anyway. The contract Boston got from the Dolphins also was designed to include as little risk as possible.

This was a good move, period. If Boston delivers, it will become a great move.


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