Boldin’s departure really isn’t that hard to figure out…but it’s tough to digest

March 11, 2013 | Drew Forrester

There’s an old Chris Rock comedy bit in which he jokes about O.J. Simpson seeing his ex-wife, Nicole, and her new boyfriend, Ron Goldman, driving around Los Angeles in the expensive automobile Simpson once purchased for his spouse.

Rock then opined that seeing Goldman cruise the town in those wheels was just too much for O.J. to handle.  It was the ultimate sign of disrespect from both the new boyfriend and the ex-wife.

“I ain’t saying O.J. shoulda killed her,” Rock said.  “But I understand…”

Well, that brings me to today’s news that the Ravens have shipped wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the 49’ers for the equivalent of a box of athletic tape and a year’s supply of deer antler spray.

And I’ll sum it up the way Rock summed it up:

“I ain’t saying the Ravens shoulda traded Anquan Boldin…but I understand.”

The Ravens position on Boldin and the deal to the 49e’rs is simple:  They don’t think he’s a seven million dollar football player anymore.  That’s not Drew saying that…that’s the Ravens saying that.

That much is clearly evident when you realize the Ravens are under the salary cap as of today.  In other words, they weren’t being forced to do anything with Boldin by Tuesday’s start of free agency.  Last Friday, they asked him to take a paycut, but they did so simply because they felt he was no longer a player capable of playing up to the level of the seven million-plus he was going to “cost” them (salary cap wise) in 2013.

A Ravens staffer confirmed to me on Monday the Boldin-to-San Francisco deal was all about money and the perceived value of a player now entering the October of his career.

Boldin’s contract for 2013 is six million, with the remaining monies connected to the salary cap coming as a result of his signing bonus back in 2010.

So, that’s that.  The Ravens decided, as an organization, that Anquan Boldin is no longer a player who can command a six or seven million dollar salary.

At least not in their eyes.

My guess is plenty of teams around the NFL would pay Boldin that kind of money, including, perhaps, the team he was traded to on Monday.  There are whispers that the Browns were interested in the veteran wide receiver, but Ozzie Newsome isn’t in the business of helping his AFC North rivals.

It does, however, say something about Boldin’s value when the only thing the Ravens could get for him was a 6th round draft pick.

I like Boldin as a player.  I thought he was a smart pick-up back in 2010.  He was a good regular season performer who seemed to be more productive when the post-season rolled around, notwithstanding a crucial end-zone drop in the fourth quarter of the January 2011 playoff loss at Pittsburgh.  He was a gamer.  The bigger the game, the better Boldin seemed to play, particularly in this most recent playoff run when he was superb in the AFC title game and the Super Bowl triumph over San Francisco.

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