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Boselli saddened by news


He was the first draft choice in Jaguars history. On Feb. 18, Tony Boselli may become the first pick of the Houston Texans expansion draft.

Boselli said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the news he would be submitted as one of five names made available to the Texans by the Jaguars. The star left offensive tackle, who missed the final 12 games of this past season due to double shoulder surgery, was informed of the Jaguars' decision this past Saturday morning. Coach Tom Coughlin delivered the news in person during a visit to Boselli's residence.

"I'll be sad to leave Jacksonville but I'll approach it the way it needs to be approached," Boselli told Tuesday afternoon.

The Texans could pass on Boselli, but he expects to be asked to come to Houston to undergo a physical exam. Boselli said indications are the Texans will draft him if he passes the physical.

"Recovery will be 100 percent; well before the season starts," Boselli said of his rehabilitation from last season's shoulder surgeries.

Each team submitted their five-player lists today for next month's expansion draft. The league will officially announce this Friday the roster of players made available to the Texans. Boselli's availability was leaked to the media by Boselli's agent.

The Jaguars' decision to not protect Boselli in the expansion draft would indicate the Jaguars will "blow up" their roster this year, to begin repairing the league's worst salary cap excess. Boselli represents about $7.2 million of remaining bonus amortization, third-highest on the team behind Tony Brackens' $11.3 million and Jimmy Smith's $7.56 million. Mark Brunell's $6 million is fourth-highest on the team.

Boselli's projected cap hit in 2002 is $8.949 million. He is scheduled to earn $4.5 million in base salary and is due a $2 million roster bonus on March 1.

Houston will assume the remaining amortization of the players they select in the expansion draft. If the Texans draft Boselli, the Jaguars would be relieved of Boselli's '02 cap hit. Instantly, their salary cap problems would become more manageable. As difficult as it might be for the Jaguars to part with talent such as Boselli's, it's clear the team has decided to make salary-cap repair an at-all-costs priority.

Will the Texans, in fact, select Boselli or any other player the Jaguars have offered? Though early indications are they will, Houston General Manager Charley Casserly might decide against restoring salary-cap health to one of his three major competitors. The Texans will join the Jaguars, Colts and Titans next season in the new AFC South Division. If Casserly helps clear the Jaguars' salary cap in this expansion draft, he will, in effect, expedite the Jaguars' recovery from consecutive losing seasons.

What will become of those Jaguars players the Texans don't draft? Well, it wouldn't be far-fetched to expect those players to be released before next season. After all, it would seem the decision has been made to clear the salary cap, starting from the top. Now that Boselli has been left unprotected, it's apparent nothing is sacred.

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