Cards: Upper Deck 2002 MVP, Upper Deck Inaugural Houston Texans 2002
Acquired: 2012, C/o Home
Sent: 3/25/2012 Received: 7/28/16 (1586 days)
Wow. Tony Boselli really made me wait on this one, signing 2 cards in almost 1600 days. You have to hand it to the mailman. Just as you think they are stealing your mail, you get a long shot wait like this one.
Tony Boselli was the anchor of the Jacksonville Jaguar franchise at left tackle. He was their first draft choice in 1995, and quickly established a reputation as one of the finest linemen in the NFL. A very popular player during his tenure in Jacksonville, he provided a much needed face and leader to the young franchise as it matured under Tom Coughlin’s watch. A 5 time Pro Bowler from 1996-2000, and 3 time All Pro from 1997-1999, Boselli was named to the 1990’s All Decade NFL Team. He’d sign a massive, new contract with the Jaguars, but by 2001 the injuries and weightlifting had caught up with him. It was possible that Tony’s bad shoulder might end his career.
Facing salary cap hell, the Jaguars made Tony available for the Houston Texans Expansion Draft in 2002. The deal was, if the Texans took Boselli’s massive contract hit, they’d leave NT Seth Payne and DE Gary Walker on the table for the Texans to draft as well. For the Texans, the risk was Boselli might never be able to return form and Houston would have to absorb his salary cap hit. It seemed that the benefits outweighed the risk, so the Texans selected Boselli first overall during the expansion draft. He’d be the first and only player in the history of the league selected first by two expansion franchises. The Texans immediately trotted Tony out as an ambassador of the franchise. He’d appear in numerous photoshoots and in pads touting the young Texans franchise, but as time and seasons passed, it became more and more obvious that Boselli was not going to see the field again.
He’d retire from football in 2004 or 2005, and sign a one day contract to retire as a Jaguar in 2006, and joined the Pride of the Jaguars Hall of Fame. While Tony has been nominated numerous times as a preliminary candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he never made it past the first round until 2016 where he made it to the final round. Perhaps due to his injury history, short career, playing for a smaller market, and at a relatively unglamorous position, has kept Boselli out of the Hall at this point, but in the meantime that has not slowed him down any.
A humanitarian at heart, Tony has his own charitable organization, and gives back to the community primarily in the Jacksonville area. He coaches football and does color commentary as well and was a minority owner at one point of the Austin Wranglers of the Arena Football League. A savvy businessman, he owns some local Whataburger franchises, and a marketing company.