Most casual Jaguars fans probably had never heard of Todd Bouman until this past weekend. Others who follow the off-season and pre-season know Bouman as the journeyman Quarterback who was part of the revolving door that has been the Jaguars back-up QB position. Bouman, who has been signed and cut 5 times by the Jaguars since 2007, has almost become a joke within the Jaguars fan base with most people wondering if he would ever see playing time. Well this past weekend, because of two injuries, he did.
All things considered he played decently well. Did Bouman earn himself a roster spot? Will he get a chance to play again? These are all questions that will get answered in the next few weeks but while we wait lets take a look a closer look at Todd Bouman and his career.
Todd Bouman was not solely a football player in college. Attending St. Cloud State University, he played both Basketball and Football for the school. He excelled at football where he played Quarterback form 1993 - 1996, earning All-American Honors in his Senior season. He is among the all-time SCSU Passing and Scoring leaders. Upon the completion of his Senior season Bouman entered the 1997 NFL Draft. Though he would go undrafted, he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent.
The next four seasons with the Vikings would define Bouman's career. He spent each of the next four seasons being bounced between the practice squad and the third quarterback spot. In every case where he was the third quarterback he was listed as inactive. During this span Bouman kept working and practicing with the Vikings. Finally after four seasons as the 3rd QB on the roster, he earned the back-up QB job in the 2001 season. With Daunte Culpepper (in his prime) as the starting QB, Bouman was simply hoping to get garbage time every once and a while. One such time was on October 28th, 2001. He saw his first NFL playing time after four seasons of sitting on the bench.
Then, only a few weeks later, Culpepper went down with a serious knee injury and Bouman got his first chance at a starting role. Bouman would start 3 of the final 5 games of the Vikings 2001 season, going 51/89 passes for 795 yards with 8 TD's and 4 INTs (98.3 passer rating). Everything was going great for Bouman, even though his record was 1 - 2, he was showing that he could be a quality NFL QB (Named NFL Offensive Player of Week after throwing 4 TDs vs. Titans). Unfortunately, in his third start he injuried his right thumb forcing him to leave the game and sidelining him for the remaining two games. After such a promising three game span in 2001, there was a lot of hope that Bouman would be able to continue the success.
With the return of Culpepper though, Bouman was sent back to the bench as the back-up for the 2002 season and only saw action in one game. He made the most of his little playing time though, throwing 3 of 6 for 85 yards and engineering 2 touchdown drives. Even with his success in limited action, Bouman could not seem to earn more playing time or a starting job. The resurgence of Culpepper over the next few seasons led the Vikings to trade Bouman to Saints in 2003.
Bouman's time with the Saints was a roller coaster. After being to traded to the team, he was once again relegated as the back-up QB to then starter Aaron Brooks. Once again, just like in Minnesota, he spent 3 seasons as the back-up with only getting limited action. In 2003, he was active for only four games and completed the season 7/13 for 81 yards and 1 TD with no INTS. In 2004 he would see no playing time as QB though served as the back-up and only took the field as the holder on place kicks.
The 2005 season looked like every other season for Bouman where for the first 13 games he was simply the back-up and place holder. After the Saints suffered a embarrassing loss to the Vick led Falcons, the Saints finally decided to bench Brooks and start Bouman over the final three games. This was Bouman's first extended time as a starter since the 2001 season but unfortunately he was starting for a team that was 3 - 10 and dreadfully bad. Bouman would lose all three starts and finish the season 68 of 122 for 722 yards, 2 TDs and 7 INTs. Bouman's poor performance was credited to a combination of some poor decision making, having very little weapons and the recent Hurricane Katrina's effect on the team. No matter what the reason it looked like Bouman had played his last game as a starter when he was released by the Saints in 2006 with the arrival of Drew Brees and veteren Jamie Martin.
Between the 2006 - 2010 seasons Bouman would be signed by four different teams. In 2006 he was signed by Green Bay and served as back-up for the final six games. Then in 2007 he was signed by the Jaguars after the injury to David Garrard. He came back to the Jaguars in the following pre-season but was released during the pre-season. Actually in 2007 while he was unsigned, he served as an Assistant Coach on the Buffalo Bison football team, he was offered a job at an Applebee's by an old friend who was now coaching the team (No I am not making that up lol).
Before the start of the 2008 season he was signed by the Ravens who had him as back-up QB for the first six games but then placed him as 3rd QB for the remainder of the season. After the 2008 season he once again joined the Jaguars for the pre-season but was once again release prior to the 2009 season. He would remain a free-agent for the 2009 season. Going into the 2010 season Bouman still remained a free-agent and was looking at possibly retiring until the Jaguars signed Bouman after the season ending injury to Luke McCown.
This stint with the Jaguars though was short lived, however, as the trade for Trent Edwards would once again find Bouman being released. Only a few weeks later Bouman was signed again after injuries to both Garrard and Edwards and he was named starter for the Jaguars game vs. the Chiefs. After a brilliant first half vs. the Chiefs, Bouman threw a costly interception that was returned for a TD which would start a Chiefs run ending in a 42 - 20 loss.
Overall Todd Bouman has had the definition of journeyman career. He has served as back-up QB for six different teams over his long career. He has had spots of excellence, but for various reasons has never seemed to be able to hold onto a starting job. We will see if the Jaguars decide to keep him around in the next few weeks as Garrard and Edwards return to health.
I personally find Bouman an inspiring person as he has dealt with a lot bad luck and long stints as a free agent but through all of it he has never complained and always stuck with it. He seems to also have a very loving family as his wife and children made the trek down to Kansas City to watch the game and seemed extremely supportive during the telecast. I wish the best of luck to Todd and hope even if things due not work out in Jacksonville that he can get another shot somewhere else.
P.S. Check out this hilarious fake interview of Todd Bouman on Black and Teal. Amazing lol