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.