2004 Season Review: WR

With the Dolphins' dismal 2004 season now over, we take a look back with a position-by-position evaluation as well as a look forward to what the offseason might bring. Today we examine the wide receivers.

Overview

The Dolphins entered last offseason badly needing to revamp their receiving corps, and they figured they did that by acquiring David Boston from the San Diego Chargers. But it was back to the drawing board after Boston went down with a season-ending knee injury in summer workouts with the Houston Texans. The Dolphins filled a gaping hole at the position in late August when they acquired Marty Booker from Chicago in a trade for holdout defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. All things considered, the Dolphins got much better play from their wide receivers in 2004, but that wasn't easily visible because of all the problems on offense.

David Boston: Boston arrived in Miami with concerns about both his durability and his attitude, and there were issues on both ends. There are many who believe that Boston will never last over the long haul because his upper body just is too big for his legs. And while he was on injured reserve, he was arrested on assault charges stemming from an airport incident and he was slapped a four-game steroid suspension by the NFL.

Chris Chambers: This was the year Chambers was supposed to step up into the elite group of wide receivers, but he never had a chance. Even with all the problems around him, it was only an OK season for Chambers.

Marty Booker: Booker admitted to being shaken up by his trade from Chicago, and it looked like it took him a while to get into a groove. But once he got settled in, Booker made some plays.

Derrius Thompson: After a disastrous 2003 season, Thompson bounced back admirably after losing his starting job. As a third wideout, Thompson was consistent catching the ball and he came up with one of the biggest play of the season for the Dolphins, the game-winning touchdown catch against New England.

Bryan Gilmore: Claimed off waivers from Arizona, Gilmore didn't get that many opportunities, but he looked good whenever he did.

Maurice Mann: Signed late in the season, he never got a chance to make any plays.

Ronald Bellamy: He was moved up from the practice squad for the last game of the season, so it was pretty much a washout season for him.

Looking ahead

The acquisition of Booker should have the Dolphins set with their starting wideouts for the next few years, and with Thompson and Gilmore the Dolphins have some decent depth. Another stud wouldn't hurt, but it's not a major priority at this point. The big question at this position, really, is whether the Dolphins will bring back Boston, who is scheduled to make almost $3 million next season when you factor in bonuses and incentives. That might prove too big a price tag given what happened, on and off the field, in 2004.


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