Few teams have so many free agency and contract decisions to make like the fresh off their Super Bowl title win Baltimore Ravens, with one of their bigger calls is with wide receiver Anquan Boldin after his fantastic postseason.
Boldin, a 10-year veteran who has spent the last three seasons with the Ravens, catching 186 passes for 2645 yards and 14 touchdowns, played like the All-Pro receiver he used to be with the Arizona Cardinals, catching 22 passes in the postseason for 380 yards and four touchdown receptions.
Boldin is due a salary of $6 million in 2013, which is a big problem for the Ravens. According to all sources, the Ravens are going to use the franchise tag only on Joe Flacco. If not on him, than not on anyone, which says quite a lot for someone like Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and others. It also means that Boldin, unless he’s willing to take a pay cut or something similar, has a good chance of being released before his guaranteed money is due.
And while someone like Boldin, with his experience and current ability to be the imposing, big physical receivers a lot of teams need (the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots are extremely interested), has quite impressive market value, his plans regarding the rest of his career (he’s 32) are completely different.
I think you go out and let your play speak for itself. You deal with that if you have to, but, I think for me, I know for me, Baltimore is the only place I want to play. It’s the last place that I will play. For me, I’ll retire a Raven, I’m not putting on any other uniform. I won’t play in another uniform. We have a saying: once a Raven, always a Raven, and I’ll always be a Raven.
Maybe this is just a message to the front office that he’s willing to enter negotiations about his current contract, or take a serious pay cut in the final contract he plays on once he retires, but while it’s never too wise to trust the words of athletes and their agents, maybe Boldin really doesn’t want to play for anyone else.