Tony Boselli will be the first inductee into a Jaguars "Ring of Honor" next fall, in a celebration at a home game to be selected. Team owner Wayne Weaver made that announcement at a press conference on Monday afternoon that returned Boselli to the Jaguars roster for a day.
"It'll be a long time before we use that jersey, but we're going with a 'Ring of Honor,'" Weaver said when asked if Boselli's jersey number 71 would be retired by the team. Boselli will be the only inductee next fall but "others will follow later," Weaver said.
Boselli joined Weaver and Jaguars salary cap manager Paul Vance in a press conference that announced Boselli's official retirement as a Jaguar. The Houston Texans recently waived Boselli procedurally for the purpose of Boselli signing a one-day deal with the Jaguars. Boselli will be placed on the reserve-retired list 24 hours after the Jaguars turn in his contract to the league.
"It's an exciting time to officially announce Tony Boselli's retirement … as a Jaguar," Weaver said in opening the press conference. "We look forward to this fall to having a celebration."
Boselli was the Jaguars' first-ever draft choice in 1995 and quickly established himself as the best left tackle in the game. His career, however, was shortened by shoulder injuries that left him unable to play beyond the 2001 season. He was drafted by the Texans in the 2002 expansion draft, as the Jaguars committed themselves to repairing what was, at the time, the worst salary cap problem in salary cap history. Boselli never played in a game with the Texans and made it known prior to the 2003 season that his playing days were over.
"That time was very emotional. Both of us wish it could've been different," Boselli said, speaking for himself and Weaver. "After all the emotions are set aside, you start thinking clearly."
"He understood that it was a business decision," Weaver said. "We had to get under the cap."
It was expected that Boselli would be made available to the Texans, but it was no less shocking to him when coach Tom Coughlin came to Boselli's house on a Saturday morning and broke the news.
"This is home. It's nice to be back in this community … with the great memories we have," Boselli said of having moved back to Jacksonville last November.
Boselli had surgery on both shoulders but it was the left shoulder that ended his career. He underwent three surgeries on the left shoulder before it was decided nothing more could be done medically.
"It was difficult to drive home," Boselli said. "It hurts but I live a normal life."
That left shoulder, of course, is what will have earned Boselli his place in the Jaguars' "Ring of Honor."