A fresh start, familiarity, and free agency all contributed in bringing veteran tight end Mark Boyer to the Jets in 1990.
"It was always fun to play against them. I liked the city, I liked the idea of learning kind of almost a different world, a different culture," Boyer said. "Also, the head coach at the time was Bruce Coslet. And one of my former coaches, Chip Myers, had been our receivers coach at the Colts, and I really liked Chip.
"The offense that they were putting in, it was sort of that West Coast-style. That was very attractive. Thinking about coming there with Bruce and knowing that he was a former tight end, I knew that the tight end was going to be a big part of their offense in different ways. That kind of really fit my style in both the run game and the pass game."
In five seasons with Indianapolis, Boyer averaged 19 catches for 180 yards. In his first year with the Jets, he caught a career-high 40 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown. Finishing third on the team in receptions behind wide receivers Al Toon and Rob Moore, Boyer enjoyed his new role as an offensive target.
"I was more of a blocker in Indianapolis with (running back Eric) Dickerson there. That first year with the Jets was really an opportunity get in and catch some balls," Boyer said. "I wasn't the fastest guy in the world, but I could get open and I could catch. I think it was a part of my game that people didn't know I did.
"Being in New York was really attractive because they were definitely going to throw the ball. That was part of my game that I was happy with and finally excited to be able to show that I could be a receiver in the passing game
"My biggest disappointment that year was Mickey Shuler. I had watched him and known him from playing against him and I was really looking forward to playing with Mickey. At that time when I was coming in, he and I were hoping to be kind of a one-two punch. But when they let him go, it really opened up for me because they were needing more balls from the tight end."
Feeling that he was playing at his best, Boyer was excited to head into the following season. He felt a lot of positive momentum around the team. But…
"I got to training camp and we did the preseason physicals, x-rays, just the basic procedures before everybody starts doing two-a-days," Boyer said. "A doctor called me in after that because he saw a shadow in my chest and wasn't sure what it was about, didn't like the looks of it. They did a biopsy and checked it out. It wasn't cancer, but it cost me about two and a half, three weeks of camp just to recover.
"So, coming into camp, great shape, everything is good, and then all of a sudden, you're missing reps in practice. It took me a lot longer to kind of get back in the groove. I came back and got hurt. I don't remember exactly, but I think I sprained an ankle. I was just out of sync. So, it was kind of frustrating. But we did come back late in the year, I played a lot, and we made the playoffs."
After compiling a 7-5 record, New York went on a three-game losing streak before meeting Miami in the season-finale. The winner claims the AFC's final playoff spot. The Jets won 23-20 in overtime and made their way to the postseason for the first time in six years.
The victory was among Boyer's fondest memories wearing the Green & White.
"That was huge. I had a solid game. It was great," Boyer said. "I really enjoyed the people in New York, the teammates. I felt like we were, especially the first couple of years, a really tightknit group. It was really fun."
Before playing eight seasons in the NFL, three with the Jets, Boyer had a plan to put his USC degree in finance to work after he hung up his helmet. Retiring from the game in 1994, he did just that.
And in 2002, he founded his own company, Boyer Financial Services in Huntington Beach, California.
"I knew I wanted to help people and I liked the freedom of the job. Being able to help people with their money and then also being able to do some other things, too," Boyer said. "I'm kind of a people guy. Finances can be a stress on folks, marriages and everything else, so I find myself really enjoying just helping them get organized, have a plan.
"I think if coaching wouldn't have been so much time away from family, I might have gone into that field because, again, I enjoy helping people meet their full potential. I feel like I can do that in the financial world. Helping people get to where they want to go."
Boyer and his wife, Janna, have five adult children: Jessica, Lauren, Melissa, Carlie, and Markus; and 13 grandchildren.
"God just fully blessed me. I've got a great family. I've got a wife I've been married to for 38 years. She's my high school sweetheart. I'm still madly in love with her. My kids are close. We've had some tragedy; we lost a grandchild this last year. but God's still faithful," Boyer said.
"I'm also involved with the ministry called Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I lead the ministry out here on the west coast. I think sports has given me a platform. Having played ball, you get in front of people that you'd maybe not be able to get in front of. So, it opens up doors and it's giving me an opportunity to hopefully make a positive impact on people's lives."