Anquan Boldin Is Right to Stand Firm in Contract Dispute with Ravens

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Anquan Boldin Is Right to Stand Firm in Contract Dispute with Ravens
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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is reportedly facing a pay cut in 2013 by the franchise he just won a Super Bowl championship for last season.

Aaron Wilson at The Baltimore Sun reports that the 32-year-old wide reciever is facing a $2 million cut by the Ravens, who want to push ahead with the new deal, taking his base salary down from $6 million to $4 million despite already having the $6 million deal in place.

The Ravens asked veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to accept a $2 million paycut of his $6 million base salary, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation...One source stated early Saturday morning, "Unless something dramatic happens, it's an absolute done deal that Anquan will be released."

And it seems that Boldin, the man on the end of the proposed contract changes, isn't moving an inch regarding the new deal that his franchise has proposed.

He is supposed to get $6 million in 2013, and he's standing firm on that.

Per USA Today:

When I signed with the Ravens, I signed for four years. With me, it's all about principles. At no point, no matter how well I played, would I come back to the table and say, 'I need more money.' The contract that I signed was the contract that I intended to play out.

I love the Ravens; I love the organization. But at the same time, I think everybody understands it's a business, and that's something that I definitely understand. I love everything about the Ravens. But if things don't work out there, I'll sit with my family, we'll talk it over, pray about it and see what God is asking me to do.

I know how the Ravens feel about me, from a coaching standpoint, from an organizational standpoint, from guys in the locker room. But sometimes the business side doesn't express that...

And in reality, the veteran wide receiver could not be more correct in his decision to stand firm and not take the $2 million cut proposed by the Ravens.

Harry How/Getty Images

It might seem over the top and it may very well end up costing him a place on the defending champions' roster in 2013 because of it, but Boldin should not have to drop down his $6 million salary for the year ahead so that the Ravens can fit in under the cap.

It just shouldn't be happening, and especially not for Boldin.

First off, this is a guy who was fundamental to the Ravens' 2013 season. As quarterback Joe Flacco said earlier this week, "Without him, we don't win the Super Bowl," and he could not be more correct in understanding how significant the 32-year-old is to their offense. 

Rob Carr/Getty Images

According to Pro Football Focus, Boldin was the most effective player on the field in passing situations for Baltimore. He was the fifth-most effective player out of any position—offense, defense or special teams—throughout the entire NFL season.

In the regular season, Boldin had more receptions and yards than any other Ravens player. The same went for the postseason as well, where the veteran wide receiver also reeled in four key touchdowns to complete the Ravens' remarkable playoff run.

Thus, for the Ravens to consider trying to drop his salary down, which was already agreed on, just doesn't seem like the right move here. It's almost like a slap in the face for the very man who won you the championship now sitting in your trophy cabinet.

It really is just a bad signal to send to Boldin regarding his place in the team—especially in light of all that's transpired already in the offseason.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Quarterback Joe Flacco has already become the highest-paid player in the game after being offered an incredible six-year, $120 million-plus deal by the Ravens.

That's not to say that Flacco doesn't deserve it or isn't an elite quarterback, but what it does bring into question, however, is whether the Ravens really couldn't find $2 million for next year somewhere else. Did they really need to offer Flacco an incredibly large deal like that one, but then propose a pay cut to the very man that made the quarterback look good when no other receiver was doing so?

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Simply put, without Boldin, there is no Flacco, there is no Super Bowl championship and there certainly isn't a $120 million deal being proposed.

The club and Boldin had a deal that would see him get paid $6 million in base salary next season, and the franchise should pay up that money. If the Ravens are not willing to do so, then Boldin needs to stand his ground and not give in to their terms, something that he is completely right and justified to do.

Understandably, Flacco seems to agree (per USA Today):

Without him, we don't win the Super Bowl. He's a huge part of this team and someone I want to see back. Obviously, when you're a player of his caliber, you believe you're worth a number and that's what you should get.

He's going to stick to his guns, and that's the way it should be.

He was really important down the stretch. He's a guy who knows what he's doing. He's done it over and over again in this league... 

For Boldin's sake (as well as the long-term future of Baltimore), we can only hope that the Ravens organization ends up seeing the same here.

Boldin is under contract, meaning he doesn't need a new deal, per se, this year, and the Ravens would be wise not to cut the 32-year-old for standing firm on this. After all, it's not like they're blessed with a plethora of brilliant wide receivers who can almost single-handedly keep a season alive.

He's completely right to stand firm on this, and so he should.

 

Will Anquan Boldin end up agreeing to a pay cut with Baltimore?

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