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

March 11, 2013 | Drew Forrester

But, I also understand the need for the Ravens to get younger – at virtually every position – and I certainly see how the salary cap influences not only what you plan for this season, but how you plan for years ahead as well.

If any one person in Baltimore deserves the ultimate show of faith from the fans, it’s Ozzie Newsome.  Likewise, if any team in town can be trusted to do the right thing, it’s the Ravens.  Let’s remember, please, we are not talking about the baseball team here.  This is the football team, winners of two titles since 2000 and five-years-on-the-run as a playoff participant.  While the Orioles have handed us stiffs for the most part over the last decade, the Ravens have delivered winning to the city.

Is every move the Ravens make the right one?  Of course not.  Is their track record solid?  You darn skippy it is.

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

It’s easy to just say, “The Ravens are making a mistake letting him go”, but Boldin’s on-the-field contributions were never all that consistent in Baltimore.  Other than yardage, which a tight end wouldn’t accumulate in the same amount as a wide receiver, Dennis Pitta can probably do roughly the same job as Boldin for a lot less money.  In fact, Pitta (10) had more touchdowns than Boldin (7) in the 2011 and 2012 seasons combined.

The only receiver in Ravens history who had a longer, better run than Boldin was Derrick Mason.  I know that’s not saying much since Baltimore’s history of pass catchers is not very impressive, but the fact of the matter is the Ravens did well for themselves by bringing Boldin here three years ago and making him part of a Super Bowl championship team.

It was, in hindsight, a good move for both teams.  The Ravens got themselves a quality receiver and even higher-quality man in Boldin and the wide receiver played for an outstanding organization and won a ring while being paid well at the same time.

There is one big downer for John Harbaugh’s team.  The Ravens will miss Anquan’s locker room presence.  He wasn’t really a leader, per-se, so that’s why I wrote “presence” instead of leadership. So, although Boldin wasn’t necessarily a locker room leader, he made his presence felt in there when the moment called for it.  And, with a Ravens team already losing Ray Lewis and possibly Ed Reed, I think the departure of Boldin could impact the team next season in ways more important and less definable than what you would see on the field of play.

How will they replace Boldin?  The same way they replaced Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding and Ben Grubbs…by signing some other team’s cast-offs (Corey Graham, Bobbie Williams, Jacoby Jones were all given the boot by a team in the league last off-season, remember) or by drafting a replacement in April.

Life will go on without Anquan Boldin, believe me.

He’s a good player and all, but he’s not a Hall of Famer by any means.  Still, don’t think for a second the Ravens won’t miss Anquan Boldin.  They will.  One of the big reasons they won four straight playoff games this past January and February was because of him.

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

And this, of course, is what happens when you win a Super Bowl.  Some guys who helped you win the whole thing will have to hit the road.

Painful?  Sure.  Necessary?  Absolutely.


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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