A few months after pleading no contest to charges of hitting a police officer in a San Antonio bar brawl, Trevone Boykin assured reporters he had “moved forward.”
Boykin spent Monday morning in a Dallas jail, where the Seahawks’ substitute quarterback was taken following his arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession and public intoxication. Give Boykin this much: He had the good sense to avoid occupying the driver’s seat of a car that collided with seven people before crashing into a bar.
The car, it should be noted, did all this with the gear in reverse — a detail that does not reflect what the Seahawks want in, ahem, a backup.
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Upon his release from jail, Boykin wrote a Twitter message that read “Full Story.” That was it. Had he typed “There are two sides to every story,” the message makes some sense. Instead, he took an unusual incident into the realms of bizarre.
The Seahawks won another NFC West title in 2016, but they were perceived less as champions than squabblers who kept finding odd ways to stay in the news. Boykin’s inability to keep his mouth shut when the Dallas police arrived — along with the wacky Twitter text — suggests the drama kings have gotten a head start on 2017.
It’s one thing when Richard Sherman feuds with assistant coaches on the sideline. Sherman is a Pro Bowl cornerback who happens to play a crucially important position. He’s high maintenance, sure, and once he ages to the point he loses half a step, the Hawks will be forced to weigh the benefit of talent against the liability of creating a distraction.
But Boykin? He’s a cost-effective insurance policy, signed on the cheap when his draft stock plummeted a year ago. Punching a cop, 48 hours before you’re scheduled to take the field as starting quarterback in a bowl game, tends to sour teams not overseen by Pete Carroll.
“I’ve learned a lot through the process,” Boykin said after Carroll offered the former TCU star a career-extending lifeline last season. “And now the thing is to just be positive, doing the right thing. That’s what coach Carroll preaches. If you’re going to be a Seahawk, you’ve got to be a Seahawk 24/7. That’s what I’m going to do.”
The Seahawks don’t need any more lame proclamations from quarterbacks who rarely see action. What they need is a quarterback whose athleticism vaguely replicates that of Russell Wilson. Famous for his durability, Wilson spent the first half of 2016 hobbling with the ankle and knee sprains that preceded a midseason pectoral injury.
The check list for obtaining a backup quarterback is short and simple.
Check One: Identify somebody who’s both comfortable in a limited role and capable of keeping the offense intact in case that role is expanded.
Check Two: When this somebody is identified, sign him to a salary cap-friendly contract that will be voided by any scrape with the law more serious than a parking ticket.
Check Three: Hand him a clipboard and a baseball cap and challenge him to stay focused on those Sundays he likely won’t put down the clipboard or remove the cap.
Sounds like a pretty sweet gig, doesn’t it? Boykin was paid $450,000 last year to appear in six games. He attempted 18 passes and completed 13 for 145 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. And though Boykin hadn’t been guaranteed the job of serving as Wilson’s backup this season, he was in the mix.
Then came the Monday morning bust, Boykin’s second arrest in less than 15 months. It sustained a recent pattern of backup Seahawks quarterbacks causing more trouble than backup quarterbacks should ever cause.
You might recall that Boykin’s predecessor, Tarvaris Jackson, was arrested last summer for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Florida. (He allegedly pulled a gun on his wife.) The assistant state attorney declined to prosecute the case, but not before Jackson requested a public defender to represent him.
Jackson, who earned an estimated $12 million in the NFL, claimed he was indigent.
I don’t wish to sound like a cad who can’t empathize with a poor, unfortunate soul who wasted away $12 million, but Jackson wasn’t worth the headaches. Neither is Boykin.
For football teams looking for quarterbacks to play in a pinch — and cars nestled near seven persons gathered on a sidewalk — moving forward seems like the way to go.