Why Baltimore Ravens Must Not Cut Anquan Boldin
The veteran wideout was the true unsung hero of the Ravens' rather dominant journey through the playoffs, making spectacular catches in traffic when Joe Flacco needed them most.
But, Baltimore finds itself in a financial bind entering the 2013 offseason, with many of its best players representing huge cap numbers next season.
This list, created by NFL.com's Albert Breer, lays out the highest cap figures for the Ravens:
OLB Terrell Suggs -- $13,020,000
DT Haloti Ngata -- $11,500,000
WR Anquan Boldin -- $7,531,250
OG Marshal Yanda -- $7,450,000
RB Ray Rice -- $5,750,000
CB Lardarius Webb -- $5,385,000
OT Michael Oher -- $4,955,000
WR Jacoby Jones -- $4,900,000
FB Vonta Leach -- $4,333,334
LB Jameel McClain -- $4,200,000
TOTAL -- $69,024,584
He points out that some teams are actually worse off, stating "the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, for example, have 10 players currently accounting for a staggering $100.33 million of their 2013 cap room.
"However, Baltimore's situation is quite dire, and with Boldin in the twilight of his career, there's a distinct possibility he'll ultimately be a cap casualty.
But he's one veteran valuable enough for the Ravens to keep. For the last three years, Boldin has made the same $7,531,000 figure, and actually, all of his receiving statistics improved in 2012 compared to 2011.
He probably isn't as fast and doesn't possesses as much burst as he used to, yet, his ball skills have certainly not diminished and he appears to have kept his body in great shape throughout his career.Also, his importance to Joe Flacco goes beyond the purely quantifiable.
Boldin doesn't have to necessarily get open to make plays down the field, and he demonstrated during the postseason that he still can out-muscle and out-jump cornerbacks even ten years his junior.
Flacco made drastic strides as a quarterback during his four-game, Super Bowl MVP-winning playoff campaign, but Boldin was imperative in every outing.
If the Ravens are willing to give Flacco a monster deal, whether it be by way of the exclusive franchise tag or a long-term extension, they must be cognizant of the fact that their quarterback needs play-making talent at the wide receiver position to continue his development into unquestioned elite status.
Boldin isn't cheap, and he isn't young, but he's priceless to Flacco and the entire Baltimore Ravens team.
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