Brandon Beane: Bills Will Not Release Rights to Anquan Boldin

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2017

FILE - In this Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 file photo, Buffalo Bills' Anquan Boldin warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Orchard Park, N.Y. A person with direct knowledge of the decision has confirmed to The Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills have granted retired receiver Anquan Boldin permission to explore the possibility of being traded to another team. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 because the Bills and Boldin have not revealed this information. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the organization won't release its rights on retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, which could allow him to sign with an AFC East rival. 

Mike Rodak of ESPN.com passed along comments the Bills GM made on SiriusXM NFL Radio after failing to move Boldin before Tuesday's trade deadline.

"We made a commitment to Anquan, and he made a commitment to us back in [training] camp," Beane said. "He left for the reasons he mentioned back in August. We invested in him—invested time and committed to him—and we wouldn't want to just put him out on the market to see him go sign with the [New England] Patriots or the [Miami] Dolphins or anybody that can get in our way or work against us."

Boldin signed a one-year contract with Buffalo in early August but opted to retire less than two weeks later. He released a statement saying he planned to focus his energy toward making a "larger fight for human rights a priority."

"Football in its purest form is what we all strive for as a nation," he said. "People from all different races, religions and backgrounds working together for one shared goal. The core values taught in football are some of the most important you can learn in life. To always be there for the guy next to you and not let your fellow man down. You do whatever it takes to make sure your brother is OK."

Last week, however, ESPN's Adam Schefter obtained a letter Beane sent to Boldin's agent, Tom Condon, giving him the right to explore trade options involving the wideout, who was seeking a team "closer in proximity to his home and family."

The Bills did make a high-profile trade Tuesday, acquiring wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for two draft picks. But Boldin's rights didn't get dealt.

So between the lack of a deal before the deadline, the 37-year-old Florida native's prior decision to leave the Bills and Buffalo's disinterest in releasing his rights, it's unlikely he returns to action during the 2017 season.

Boldin could make a comeback next year with a new team as he'll become a free agent during the offseason.

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