Chargers mulling enacting clause in Boston's pact
By Jim Trotter
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 14, 2004
The Chargers spent most of the week on the sideline, watching and listening as David Boston's agent tried to broker a trade that would send the imposing wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins.
However, tomorrow the Chargers are expected to thrust themselves into the middle of the action. And what they say and do could go a long way toward determining whether a trade is finalized.
The reason: Boston is owed $1.85 million in deferred signing bonus money tomorrow and, if the Chargers withhold that money while seeking to recoup $3 million in liquidated damages stemming from Boston's one-game suspension last season, it could stall trade talks.
A source close to the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Chargers have until tomorrow to exercise the liquidated damages clause in Boston's contract, although the deadline could be pushed back if both sides agree. The team has yet to say whether it will try to recoup the money by, in part, withholding the deferred payment on Boston's original $4.55 million signing bonus. But earlier this week sources on both sides said the club was considering such an action.
The primary reason could be that the Chargers don't want to spend another dollar on a player they don't intend to keep. Currently, they owe Boston $8.75 million in guarantees – $1.85 million in deferred signing bonus, and $6.9 million in salary over the next two seasons.
The Chargers are hoping Miami or another team will assume most or all of that debt as part of a trade agreement, which seems possible. But if the Chargers seek $3 million in liquidated damages, Boston in all likelihood would file a grievance that could delay a trade.
A source close to the situation said the Dolphins yesterday faxed a contract proposal to Boston's agent, Mitch Frankel, and that Frankel was preparing a counterproposal because the offer was loaded with incentives. Last year, the Dolphins ranked 26th in the NFL in passing and threw only 17 touchdown passes, fewer than all but seven teams.
Meantime, barring complications. Boston is expected to travel to Miami on Tuesday to meet with Dolphins officials.
Dug this up but really doesn't say where they are at.