Monday, March 15, 2004
Updated: March 16, 5:21 PM ET
San Diego to get pick, player to be named
By John Clayton
Wide receiver David Boston is headed to the Miami Dolphins in a trade from the San Diego Chargers in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft and a player to be named later.
Boston must pass a physical for the trade to be approved. For the Chargers to get the draft choice, Boston must make the Dolphins' 53-man roster.
The trade announcement Monday ended three days of intense negotiations between the Chargers, Dolphins and Boston. The Chargers wanted to unload Boston, who was their main free-agent acquisition last season.
The Dolphins wanted to add him to their offense and reunite him with his former receivers coach, Jerry Sullivan, who was hired by the Dolphins during the offseason. Sullivan was Arizona's wide receiver coach during Boston's final two seasons with the Cardinals.
For the deal to happen, though, Boston had to work out a contract with the Dolphins. He is scheduled to make $24 million over the first four years of a seven-year, $47.4 million deal, and under terms of the renegotiated contract, Boston will make almost all of that money.
The Dolphins will have Boston's base pay at around $535,000. He can make close to $2.5 million in addition to the base salary by just being on the roster for each game. Those roster bonuses will fill out what will be a $3 million salary for 2004. Boston can make $4 million next year in a similar arrangement.
The final part of the settlement came when Boston worked out an agreement for the remaining guarantees of his Chargers contract. The Chargers guaranteed a little less than $12 million of the $47 million contract he signed last year. He made $5.1 million during the first year.
The Chargers and Boston reached a settlement Monday night that gets Boston an additional $1.5 million of guarantees. The Chargers save $5 million by making this trade. Had they cut Boston, they would have been responsible for the entire amount of the guarantee. That means Boston will make $6.6 million from the Chargers instead of $11.6 million.
Boston, 25, is considered one of the league's most powerful deep threats. He's run in the 4.3 range in the 40-yard dash despite weighing 240 pounds. Boston, a heavy weightlifter, differed with the Chargers on his weight. The team felt wanted him at around 235 pounds.
The Dolphins made it clear they want him at around 230, and he was agreeable to those numbers.
Boston, a former first-round choice (eighth overall) from Ohio State in 1999, caught 98 passes for the Cardinals in 2001 and led the NFL with 1,598 receiving yards. Last year, he caught 70 passes for 880 yards for the Chargers.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.