Anquan Boldin: The Baltimore Ravens' Golden Opportunity
The Cardinals' Anquan Boldin is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. In 2008, he caught 89 passes for 1,038 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He missed four games due to injury and is one of the steadiest receivers in football.
In the games he did play, he averaged seven catches, 87 yards and one touchdown. Boldin said today that his relationship with Arizona is broken beyond repair.
"I don't think the relationship can be repaired with the organization," Boldin told USA Today after Thursday's NFC practice for Sunday's Pro Bowl.
"It takes more than, 'Well, we did you wrong and we'll pay you this.' It's not about the money. It was always about the principle. Guys being true to their word. I guess I was expected to uphold my end of the bargain, and it wasn't reciprocated."
Sporting News NFL writer Matthew Lutovsky said Boldin will ask to be traded.
There are plenty of teams that are in need at wide receiver—Philadelphia and Baltimore, among others. Disgruntled Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said he wants to go to the Philadelphia Eagles. That makes Boldin a hot commodity.
As a Ravens fan, here's my advice: get Anquan Boldin!
On Feb. 5, Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley took a job with the Chiefs to become the new head coach for Kansas City. Boldin became angry that Larry Fitzgerald, the team's No. 1 receiver, was awarded with a four year/$40M extension this past offseason, while Boldin received no such offer.
"We've been talking to them for two years, and they still haven't made anything happen," said Boldin.
The Baltimore Ravens' offensive struggles in the playoffs were much due to lack of a play-making receiver. Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton are a competent duo, but 24-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco needs a receiver who will catch passes—high and low.
Someone like Boldin.
Boldin, 6'1", 217 pounds, just finished his sixth season, and at 28, is entering the prime of his career. Despite a sideline dispute with Todd Haley during a playoff game against the Eagles, Boldin is a likeable guy whose competitive edge just got the best of him and made him look like another self-centered receiver.
The Ravens may be scared to go after a receiver. In 2004, Terrell Owens was "traded" to the Baltimore Ravens but ended up with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Boldin doesn't have the character issues T.O. has.
Boldin has no legal problems or suspensions within the league. Last year, the Ravens played the Cardinals and beat them, 26-23. In the game, Boldin caught 14 passes for 181 yards and scored two touchdowns. Ozzie Newsome: pull the trigger!
When asked if Boldin wanted to stay in Arizona, he dodged.
"That's another good question," he said. "Right now, there's a lot of stuff going on, especially with the [Super Bowl] being as close as it was. A lot of emotions are riding. For me, I'm just going to take time, relax a little bit and gather how I feel and where do I want to be, if I want to be there, if I don't. I feel these next few weeks will be real important."
Larry Fitzgerald said he would restructure his contract to keep Boldin on the team. However, it may not be enough. Boldin has been wanting a new contract for two years and hasn't gotten a penny. It has frustrated him and he wants out.
The Ravens desperately need a top-notch wide receiver. Joe Flacco could break out next year and Boldin could win a Super Bowl with an elite defense like the Baltimore Ravens.
Boldin had a very successful postseason. In a Wild-Card win over the Falcons, he caught two passes for 72 yards and scored a touchdown on a screen pass that went for 71 yards.
In the NFC Championship against the Eagles, Boldin caught just four passes for 34 yards, as Fitzgerald stole the show, with over 150 yards and three touchdowns. In the Super Bowl, Boldin was used early and often, catching eight passes for 84 yards. He was even one yard away from a touchdown, but settled for a 45-yard gain.
The Ravens need Anquan Boldin. While the Ravens may be looking forward to the draft to pick up Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland) or Percy Harvin (Florida), none of them measures up to Boldin—not even on the college level. They both would be good picks for Baltimore, but not as good as Boldin.
Think about it, Ozzie.
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