In an ongoing effort to surround developing star QB Joe Flacco with talent at the other skill positions on the team, the Ravens have officially traded their third- and fourth-round picks in the upcoming draft to Arizona in exchange for their fifth-round pick in this year's draft as well as star receiver Anquan Boldin.
The reports have been coming out all day, including two from myself. First it was reported that the Patriots might land the receiver, and then that they were out of the race and things looked good for Baltimore. Now that the dust has settled, Baltimore remains as the lone team in the bidding. The truth in all of this is that the price to acquire Boldin via trade hasn't been the issue for anyone, but rather the number the receiver wants to see on his next contract.
Apparently the Ravens are willing to spend the kind of money he'd like to see in his bank account, so they went ahead and pulled the trigger on a trade that sends the first legitimate superstar receiver to the Ravens since...well ever, as far as I can recall. In fact, in their history the leading receiver for Baltimore is TE Todd Heap, with 4,893 receiving yards in a Baltimore uniform.
To put that number in perspective, Boldin has just over 7,500 receiving yards in an eight-year career. That means that in the amount of time Baltimore has signed him for (4 years for $28 million), after trading for him he will likely be Baltimore's third-leading receiver, and if he finishes his career there will probably rewrite their record books (barring major injury or anything else like that).
So far, this is the second quality receiver the Ravens have brought in this offseason, including Dante Stallworth, fresh off a year's suspension. In doing so, they've surrounded Ray Rice and Joe Flacco with legitimate NFL starters on offense, and built one of the more formidable offenses in the AFC. This from a team known for having one of the best defenses—but only really a defense—since their inception. I'm excited to see what (if any) moves they make in the coming days, and also curious to see if there's still a place for Derrick Mason (the Ravens' second all-time receiver) in Baltimore.
If this is a team that could make a legitimate run at a title (and why not?), it would be a shame if they couldn't find a place for Mason on the team after toiling all these years with limited success.