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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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Matt Says:

    The Ravens in a way did right by Q. He’ll get paid what he’s owed, and they shipped him to a championship contender. At the same time, can’t think of a player being so quickly and seemingly casually cast off who more embodied the “play like a Raven” mold.

  2. Tim Says:

    Nice perspective Drew. Very fitting analogy with the Chris Rock Sketch . . . Not saying he shoulda done it . . . but I understand.

    I liked Anquan but this also further solidifies this as Joe Flacco’s team. We’ll see . . .

    Life is much different in the successful team realm . . .

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    Somewhat reminiscent of losing Derrick Mason – understandable, but still hard to digest. Arguably, the Ravens would not have won the Super Bowl without Boldin, who will be missed for his leadership as well as his football prowess. But, Boldin goes to a legitimate contender, the Ravens get some much needed “cap” room and a draft pick. All in all, probably a win-win for both – short term for Boldin, long term for the Ravens. So…..”Next man up!!!

  4. matt Says:

    i was outspokenly good with releasing mason, heap, mcgahee, and now am outspokenly good trading boldin.

    this is not torrey smith at 33, this is anquan boldin. couldnt get separation before, might as well become a tight end now. the team gave him what he quested for and vice versa and i bid him adieu.

    i guarantee he will be a shell of himself in san fran. and i guarantee ed reed will be a shell of himself on the colts next year. and ill go ahead and reiterate that kruger is going to be just awful wherever he goes.

  5. unitastoberry Says:

    I think that after both sides could not come to a deal on the salary the trade was made as a defensive move rather than let him go free agent to a team in the AFC. The niners are a good team and good luck Anquan.I’m glad Ozzie is in full control. Using the draft and the waiver wire we will be ok. I just dont worry anymore.

  6. Dan Says:

    I just don’t see it? I mean they resign David Reed, HUH! why could’nt they come up with a little money to pay him, he’s a beast, and Flacco will miss him dearly, He made Joe look awfully good a number of times. . I would rather have seen them get rid of Vonte L. and free up some $ for Anquan.

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