Tag Archive | "Anquan Boldin"

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Boldin’s void still lingers as Ravens move closer to draft

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Luke Jones

If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the difficult part of the Ravens’ offseason.

Needless to say, it’s been an interesting five weeks as a number of key contributors to the Super Bowl XLVII championship team have departed with several newcomers arriving to fill those voids. And once again, general manager Ozzie Newsome has emerged to look as shrewd as ever just a few weeks after many fans and media alike questioned what exactly the Ravens were trying to accomplish by gutting their roster after winning their second NFL title in 13 years.

It was painful waving goodbye to the legendary Ed Reed as well as other defensive contributors such as Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard, and Cary Williams, but Newsome has walked away from free agency with an elite pass rusher (Elvis Dumervil), good defensive line depth (Chris Canty and Marcus Spears), a solid replacement for Reed (Michael Huff), and a low-risk, high-reward inside linebacker just three years removed from being a first-round pick (Rolando McClain). Though far from a guarantee, the argument can be made that a flawed Baltimore defense last year will emerge even stronger with the wholesale changes made this offseason.

With the Ravens now less than two weeks away from the draft, one position and one particular departure stands above all others in terms of the urgency felt to address it.

No, it isn’t left tackle, where the Ravens see veteran Bryant McKinnie dangling on the free-agent market while looking internally to find — yes — Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele as potential candidates to man the blindside for quarterback Joe Flacco. The mere suggestion of Oher moving back to the left side — not a decision I endorse, mind you — is enough to keep many fans awake at night, but the Ravens aren’t nearly as concerned about the position as everyone else, even though they’ll keep their eyes open during next week’s draft for a long-term solution.

For all the encouraging moves made by the Ravens in response to the mass exodus that occurred in mid-March, it’s still difficult to move past the trade of wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick. There’s no need to rehash the details; the Ravens made it clear they didn’t believe Boldin was a $6 million player anymore and the 32-year-old wasn’t willing to take a $2 million pay cut.

It was a business decision that cleared enough cap space to make the signing of the Pro Bowl pass rusher Dumervil and several others first conceivable and eventually a reality, but that still doesn’t replace the production left behind by the veteran receiver. Over the last two seasons, Boldin accounted for 23.7 percent of the Ravens’ total yards via the air. His 2012 postseason is well documented as the possession wideout was on the receiving end of exactly 1/3 of Flacco’s 1,140 passing yards and reined in four of the quarterback’s 11 touchdown passes.

Make no mistake, we’re not talking about a bona fide No. 1 receiver and Boldin was struggling more and more to gain separation in man coverage, but his strong hands and ability inside the red zone must be replaced by someone — or some combination of players. The Ravens say they’re confident in tight end Dennis Pitta as well as young receivers Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson to compete to fill the void in the slot, but there’s a reason why the latter two were little more than afterthoughts on the 53-man roster last season. Maybe one or both will emerge to become serviceable receivers, but the Ravens can’t possibly count on either to bring even a modest fraction of what Boldin offered.

Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones certainly remind you that the cupboard isn’t totally bare at the position like it was a decade ago, but neither provides enough consistency in the short-to-intermediate passing game and are too valuable as vertical threats on the outside.

It’s worth asking how much of the burden will fall on Flacco, who is entering his sixth NFL season and is in the prime of his career after signing a six-year, $120.6 million contract earlier this offseason. Is the quarterback dependent on good receivers to be successful or are young receivers relying on the Super Bowl MVP in their own development at this stage in the game?

Still, you have to wonder what the Ravens have up their sleeve with barely a whisper of any significant interest in this year’s crop of free-agent wide receivers. Are the Ravens simply turning to the draft with confidence in a late first-round option such as Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, Cal’s Keenan Allen, or USC’s Robert Woods to potentially step in and contribute from Day One? Would a second-day target such as 6-foot-4 Justin Hunter of Tennessee or troubled Tennessee Tech wideout Da’Rick Rogers strike their fancy?

Or should we be on alert for a trade? Manned with 12 selections in next week’s draft, the Ravens have never shied away from dealing picks for established talent as they completed draft-weekend deals for wide receiver Kevin Johnson and cornerback Fabian Washington in the last decade.

Their summer trade two years ago for Lee Evans may have failed miserably, but it was another example of Newsome’s willingness to part with a mid-round selection to snag a wideout. And, of course, the Ravens dealt two picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin three years ago in a deal that worked to perfection.

This offseason, all is quiet on the wide receiver front with no big names publicly on the block, but it’s difficult to imagine the Ravens simply standing pat with what they currently have at the position. Baltimore tried to enhance its wide receiver depth in each of the last three years by signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2010, trading for Evans in 2011, and inking Jones last year, so the thought of Newsome and the front office allowing draft weekend to come and go without an impact draft selection or failing to explore a trade to address the void left behind by Boldin just doesn’t seem plausible.

By no means does it need to be a carbon-copy replacement, but Boldin’s giant shadow is still too great not to address with either a savvy veteran or a young player holding a higher ceiling than the candidates already on the roster.

In an offseason in which patience has been preached over and over, the Ravens will ask for a little more as nearly every other position has been handled in some shape or form for the short term. Even left tackle has several accessible backup options if a young prospect doesn’t fall into the Ravens’ laps in the first two days of the draft.

But failing to address the Boldin departure would be too great of a risk to take.

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The Dismantling of the Ravens

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Tom Federline

It has been 7 weeks. What just happened Baltimore? Where have all our Ravens gone? I’ll tell you what happened, the Baltimore Ravens organization is in mass salary shedding mode. Bisciotti and Newsome are playing the shrewd business man game. They have a product that sells, they have a product at the top of its’ market, they have the upper hand. It’s time to ride the wave and make some cash. While they are on top, why not increase ticket prices, why not renovate the 15 year old stadium with 35 million dollars of upgrades, why not unload salary and dump over-priced contracts? Where are they going to find $120 million dollars to over-pay the Super Bowl QB with a new contract? The time is right for “re-building”, they have an excuse, they  breakdown the championship team and blame it on  “the salary cap”.

Nice purge Ravens, it’s not the first time you have done this, is it? Well they didn’t really purge in 2001, they just didn’t renew the contract for the leader of the offense, Super Bowl winner, Trent Dilfer. I guess they did learn some lessons from that screw up. This time they kept the QB and are letting 40% of the starters go. Ok, two are retiring. Hey, it might work. Just hard to swallow in such a short turnaround time. And Horribaugh, I know you are just on for the ride, so who is going to drive the bus now? It appears the Ravens Nation and front office need an SOS in the form of a “Message in the Bottle” – The Police.

My outlook hasn’t changed, I’m old school, you don’t get rid of the people that got you there. The Ravens organization lost me when they let Trent Dilfer go after winning the Super Bowl in 2001. At that time, the possibility existed for the Ravens to create an NFL dynasty with that defense. Ray-Ray in his prime and they had an offensive leader. The Ravens front office blew-it then. And unless the front office can pull the Easter Bunny out of a hat, they have lost me again, with the “roster purge” of 2013.

This whole Salary Cap excuse – not buying it. They are in panic unload mode, they made to many promises they can’t keep, they extended contracts and monies beyond their means, they got lucky with the Super Bowl win. They had two high salary veterans retire and they still were above the salary cap? Oh that’s right they have a new 20 million dollar man. We just won the Super Bowl – time to raise ticket prices. Come on Ravens – who you trying to kid? Ok, you got your quarterback and made him one of the richest NFL players ever. Good move. Now what do you have? Defense is devastated. Offense may survive. Although losing Boldin, was just plain…………..”fixed”. Nice brotherly bet payoff, huh? By the way, I’m calling it now – the San Francisco 49ers with a real head coach – Jim Harbaugh, just won Super Bowl XLVIII.

Offensively, the 20 million dollar/year mans go to wide receiver – is gone. The heart of the offensive line, the veteran center, the man who called the blocking schemes and delivered the ball to the 20 million dollar Flacco, retired. Defensively – the heart and one of the greatest of all-time, Ray Lewis – retired. The inside linebacker who picked up the slack when Ray was out – Dannel Ellerbe – gone to Miami. The defensive end, Paul Krueger, finally coming into his game – gone to the Browns. The smash mouth sticker of the defense, Bernard Pollard – gone to the Titans. The surprisingly reliable defensive back who picked up with the loss of Lardarius Webb – Cary Williams, gone to the Eagles. And finally the artery that fed the heart, the second in command on defense and one of the greatest safeties of all time – Ed Reed – gone to Houston. All were starters – all are gone.

The Ravens could pull this rebuilding, salary restructuring off. Hey, they pulled off the improbable “Ray-Ray, Last Dance, Super Bowl Run”. Let’s see who they replace these guys with. Elvis Dumervil? Could be a start, even though I think this cat is carrying some excess baggage. Now a new DB in Mike Huff from Oakland. Mike who? We all knew Ray-Ray was done. We figured Birk was on the same boat. And Mr. Two Tickets to the Hospital, Ed Reed………..is one plough-over from a juiced up fullback to be put the DL, for the rest of his career. The loss of Ellerbe and Pollard hurt. The line backing crew is in dire straits. At least “Ngata Chance” is still here! Or will they dump all hope?

Are the Ravens just letting it ride this year? Are they grabbing the cash while they can? Are they really rebuilding? We’re not going to know until November. Let’s also see what they say about the “salary cap” next year, after they have adjusted to the 20 million dollar/year one man contract. Hey, I am a Flacco fan. Always have been, always will be, he’s a leader. I am not a fan of the obnoxious sports salaries and contracts. It has ruined the game. Bottom line – The Ravens won another Super Bowl and that is cool. Watching the exodus of the players that got them there – is not. And “O” yeah, no Ray Lewis next year. Cha, cha, changes……….time to face the strange.



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Your Monday Reality Check: Can the “regression” talk regress now?

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

Two of my absolute favorite people on the face of the planet are WNST.net’s own Luke Jones and Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole.

I really mean that. They’re not just two of my favorites in the business, they’re two of my favorites in the world. I love to talk shop with those guys, I love to chat about the world in general with them and I love getting the chance to spend time with them socially.

(This type of statement always leads to a “BUT….”, right? Not exactly this time.)

Both Jason and Luke joined me on “The Reality Check” during the first week of NFL free agency and separately brought up the same word, a specific word that has been repeated to me by a number of callers and e-mailers over the course of the last couple of weeks.

The word is “regression.” If you were playing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the moderator would tell you the word was of latin origin and could be defined as “a trend or shift toward a lower or less perfect state.” Perhaps the word could be used in a sentence along the lines of “After losing the players the Baltimore Ravens have lost thus far, we can expect regression from the team in 2013.”

That was essentially how both guys (and others) used the word over the last few weeks.

(You’re now CERTAIN there’s going to be a “BUT…” coming, aren’t you?)

I had to start every discussion about the term that I’ve had both on-air and off since the offseason began by accepting that Luke, Jason and everyone else who has suggested the Ravens are going to “regress” in 2013 are…well…probably right. I’m sorry. It had to be said.

They’re right because the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2012 and it will be very difficult for them to win the Super Bowl again in 2013. Any scenario that doesn’t involve the Ravens hoisting a third Vince Lombardi Trophy would technically mean they had “regressed” from where they were last season.

(Okay, now it’s time.)

BUT…I was never REALLY willing to accept the notion of “regression” for the Ravens at any point. Sunday’s signing of former Denver Broncos pass rusher Elvis Dumervil re-inforces that belief, but it absolutely did not establish it. I just hope the addition of Dumervil will force others to similarly push aside the notion of “regression” in 2013.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens fans need to take a deep breath and trust in Ozzie

Posted on 14 March 2013 by BaltimoreSportsNut

It is amazing that just roughly six weeks after our beloved Baltimore Ravens hoisted their second Lombardi Trophy in 13 years and their fifth consecutive playoff appearance that Ravens fans have totally lost their mind.

This week has been comparable to the reaction I saw after Baltimore got crushed at home by the Denver Broncos towards the end of the season and fans were saying the Ravens wouldn’t win another game and that Ozzie Newsome cannot possibly give Flacco a contract that would make him the highest paid quarterback in history. Ravens fans have been so outraged these past few days with the trade of Anquan Boldin, the release of Bernard Pollard and their inability to retain Dannell Ellerbe.

First, there is no way Baltimore was, or could even afford to pay Ellerbe $35 million over five years, and honestly, he is not worth that kind of money.

Boldin was immediately rumored to be a salary cap casualty as soon as the Super Bowl was over, so we all knew, at least if you paid attention, that Boldin was likely not going to be back in Baltimore next season. Keep in mind, the Ravens did attempt to keep Anquan asking him to take a pay cut to stay, which has happened before in the world of the NFL, and some have taken that option, and others, like Boldin did, reject it because they do not want to play for less, which he had every right to do. I love Boldin, he played like a Raven, and is one of my favorite players, but the NFL is a business, and the financials did not support keeping Boldin at his $7.5 million cap number, and the Ravens did not feel he was worth that kind of money. It happens, remember Ben Grubs last year? Jarret Johnson? What happened? Our Ravens WON THE SUPER BOWL!

In regards to Bernard Pollard, this is not a power play by John Harbaugh, so if you think this is the case you need to get a clue and check out Drew’s blog this morning regarding it. Pollard was not only a disruption on the field sometimes with his constantly penalized hits (I will admit, that did not bother me, he played the game hard and did the Raven thing and intimidated the opponent), but Pollard’s locker room antics were the biggest disruption. Again check out Drew’s blog for the full details and read about his incident with Josh Bynes after the loss to the Washington Redskins. Next season, Pollard will be playing with his fourth team in the NFL in just eight seasons, there is a reason the Chiefs, Texans, and now the Ravens let him go. His teammates do not want him there.

Lastly, and most importantly, Ravens fans need to wake up and realize they have without a shout of a doubt, the best GM in the NFL. Ozzie Newsome has been our GM ever since we came to Baltimore and he has delivered two Super Bowls titles, four Division titles, and nine playoff appearances over 17 years. For you math estute readers, that is more playoff appearances than non playoff appearances, there are not many teams out there that can make that claim over the last 17 years. In fact, if you want to get even more technical, Baltimore has gone to the playoffs nine times in the last 13 seasons!! Newsome has also put together a full out defensive team that won the Super Bowl and a primarily offensive team that won the Super Bowl, thus proving he is not one dimensional in that regard as well. We praise Newsome for ten months of the year, but right around this time of year, all of the sudden Ravens fans either forget or ignore what Ozzie has done for this franchise.

I am not saying that I haven’t been surprised for some of the moves that have occured over the past week, but I sit back and always say to myself that “Ozzie must have a plan, like he always does.”

So please step back from the ledge Baltimore and join me in saying “In Ozzie we Trust!”

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Ravens GM Newsome releases statement on Boldin trade

Posted on 12 March 2013 by WNST Staff

The Ravens officially announced the Anquan Boldin trade on Tuesday afternoon and general manager Ozzie Newsome released the following statement about the veteran receiver:

“Managing and assembling your roster is difficult and among the most important things we do. It is not always pleasant, and in the case of Anquan, it is unpleasant. We know he can still play at a high level. What he has done in his three seasons with us goes well beyond the numbers, and his numbers are very good. He fit in as a Raven from Day One. His leadership, just by the way he played and prepared, was a powerful force for us. And when we needed the tough catch in important times, he made those. Look at his production in our Super Bowl run. He stepped up in a big way. When he wasn’t targeted, or when we weren’t passing, his blocking was outstanding. We all thank ‘Q’ for what he did for the Ravens over the last three years.”

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Cost-Effective Boldin Replacements

Posted on 12 March 2013 by WNST Staff

As the aftermath of the Anquan Boldin trade coincides with the start of Free Agency, the Ravens may look to some guys off the street to fill his role. Even with his departure, the team is still strapped against the cap because of the amount of their own Free Agents (Unrestricted and Restricted) on the roster. With holes at vital positions such as Left Tackle, Middle Linebacker and Defensive Line, the Ravens will probably look for some cost effective options for a veteran presence, while drafting a player with big upside in April.

Here is a look at possible veteran wide outs that the Ravens could consider:

Early Doucet
Former Team: Arizona Cardinals
2012-2013 Stats: 28 Catches, 207 Yards

Doucet was the reason the Cardinals were willing to depart Boldin in the first place. He obviously did not live up to expectations; he plays a similar style as Boldin, as a physical presence who is willing to make tough catches across the middle. Doucet has struggled with injuries (playing in only 5 games last season), but if he can stay on the field he has the potential to be a solid No. 3 option.


Brandon Gibson
Former Team: St. Louis Rams
2012-2013 Stats: 51 Catches, 691 Yards, 5 TDs

Gibson has the potential to become a stud at Wide Receiver but has yet to put it all together. Injuries have derailed his past couple seasons and he has a tendency to disappear for games at a time. When he is hitting on all cylinders though, he can put numbers like he did against Buffalo last season (6 Catches, 100 Yards, Td).


Julian Edelman
Former Team: New England Patriots
2012-2013 Stats: 21 Catches, 235 Yards, 3 TDs

Edelman is a natural slot receiver in the mold of Wes Welker (who he learned the position from). He can be a threat in the middle of the field and an asset in the short passing game. His size and tools will not wow anyone, but he can grind out yards 5-10 yards at a time (11.4 YPC in 2013).


Ramses Barden
Former Team: New York Giants
2012-2013 Stats: 14 Catches, 220 Yards

Barden’s biggest issue his entire career has been finding his way on the field, playing behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. He is an imposing target at 6’6”, who can go up and get the ball over many corners in the NFL. If he can get consistent playing time, he may be able to perform like he did in his start against the Panthers last season (9 Catches, 138 Yards).


Mohamed Massaquoi
Former Team: Cleveland Browns
2012-2013 Stats: 17 Catches, 254 Yards

Massaquoi’s has struggled catching the ball ever since entering the NFL, but the potential is there to become a dynamic threat. He has a good combination of size and speed, who may benefit playing for a good QB like Joe Flacco (unlike Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace and Brandon Weeden). Massaquoi’s peak would be as a decent No. 2 wide out across from Torrey Smith.

*All Photos Courtesy of NFL.com.*

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Boldin releases statement thanking Ravens fans

Posted on 12 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Currently traveling in Africa on a charity mission, former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin has released a statement to the fans of Baltimore:

“I thank the Ravens fans for their incredible support for myself and my family throughout my years in Baltimore. I am grateful in getting to know you and will miss what I call home.

“I thought this was the last stop of my career, but regardless of the circumstances, I came here to win a championship, and in February we came home champions.”

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Boldin trade looks like loser now, but that doesn’t matter in March

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Luke Jones

It’s difficult to look at the Ravens’ decision to trade veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers with any level of enthusiasm.

Yes, Baltimore will save $6 million in salary cap space for the 2013 season.

The Ravens were able to fetch a sixth-round pick when it looked as though they would end up releasing Boldin with nothing in return after he balked at the idea of a $2 million pay cut. Of course, the Ravens’ recent sixth-round history includes such sterling names as wide receiver Tommy Streeter, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, offensive lineman Ramon Harewood, and running back Cedric Peerman — not exactly a group to go crazy over.

The trade prevents another AFC North rival such as the Bengals or the Browns — both with plenty of cap space — or another conference opponent from signing the dangerous slot receiver on the open market. The Ravens aren’t scheduled to play the 49ers again until 2015 unless these teams were to meet in the Super Bowl yet again.

But what hurts is that Boldin won’t be playing for the Ravens in 2013. It’s a tough pill to swallow for fans — and media, quite frankly — who assumed such a move was no longer in play after the organization inked quarterback Joe Flacco to a six-year, $120.6 million contract that freed up cap space for the immediate future as opposed to the hefty price of a franchise tag wreaking havoc on the 2013 roster picture.

The trade makes the Ravens a worse team now, but the good news is the start of the regular season is still almost six months away.

We’re still more than six weeks out from the 2013 draft, one in which the Ravens are projected to have 12 selections by the time compensatory picks are announced at the league meetings next week.

And the Ravens are 4 1/2 months away from the start of training camp in sultry Owings Mills.

The truth is nobody knows whether this will ultimately be a good decision or not for quite some time. That the Ravens look like losers on March 11 doesn’t really matter. But that doesn’t eliminate the same sinking feeling experienced over the last few years when the likes of Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Ben Grubbs, and Jarret Johnson parted ways with the organization.

In fact, to judge this decision based solely on trading Boldin for a sixth-round pick is an incomplete and shortsighted look before we see how the cap space saved is ultimately used.

Will the Ravens take that $6 million to explore a deep market of left tackles in hopes of finding a long-term solution at a critical position that’s experienced several years in limbo? Does Baltimore take a look at a deep free-agent class of wide receivers with its new-found cap space?

Could general manager Ozzie Newsome use his heavy collection of picks to explore a trade for an established — but younger — wide receiver in a similar manner to when he traded third- and fourth-round picks to the Arizona Cardinals in return for Boldin and a fifth-round choice three years ago? Do the Ravens look to the first two rounds of the draft for a potential franchise wide receiver?

The possibilities are endless and, of course, not all outcomes are necessarily favorable as it’s possible this move blows up in the organization’s face as the Ravens and Newsome are far from infallible.

The move doesn’t come down to one draft pick or one wad of cash or even one particular player replacing the slot receiver. While Boldin’s production is unlikely to be matched by the increased use of internal options such as Dennis Pitta and Tandon Doss, that doesn’t mean the pair won’t be part of an overall solution that makes the Ravens better in the long run.

The rationale appears fuzzy now as the offseason is just getting underway, but Newsome and the Baltimore front office have earned the benefit of the doubt just five weeks after winning Super Bowl XLVII. The one thing that’s certain is that a number of plans and options have been discussed; this wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to Boldin balking at the suggestion of a $2 million pay cut.

Plans were already in motion for this scenario to play out, so the Ravens will now look to the future just like they did after losing countless veteran players over the years. And before panicking, ask yourself just how many of those departures looked like they would sting before the Ravens came out on the other end smelling like roses.

Yes, Monday was one of the gloomier days in recent memory for the Super Bowl champion Ravens. Many media and fans are already saying the Ravens will deeply regret this move without seeing how the money is spent and how resources are allotted in building the 2013 roster.

Past glory doesn’t guarantee future success, but the front office didn’t suddenly become incompetent in the aftermath of Super Bowl XLVII. And as good as Boldin was for three years in Baltimore, his best days continue to rapidly move behind him and a $6 million price tag just didn’t add up in the Ravens’ minds — whether you agree or not.

Younger and faster is the name of the game the Baltimore offense will be preaching under offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.

How it all takes shape remains to be seen.

It’s a scary proposition delving into the unknown, especially when letting go of a reliable and safe commodity like Boldin. It’s the kind of move that looks like a big loser at first blush.

But the season doesn’t start on March 11 and this is the time of year when Newsome shines. It doesn’t matter how bad the move looks right now.

Check back with me over the weekend of the draft and at the start of training camp and, most importantly, in early September.

Because the last time I checked, the Ravens don’t play any games in March.

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

Posted on 11 March 2013 by 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.

(Please see next page)

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Ravens trade WR Boldin to 49ers for a sixth-round pick

Posted on 11 March 2013 by WNST Staff

A day before free agency began and after a weekend where it was reported that the Ravens asked top wideout Anquan Boldin to restructure his contract, the team officially washed its hands of the problem by trading the 10-year veteran to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick.

The move was first reported by the Baltimore Sun, and ProFootball Talk said the Ravens were looking to ship him to get Boldin’s 7.5 million dollar cap number and six million dollar base salary off their books.

For 2013, WNST’s Luke Jones says the Ravens will only have 1.5 million in dead money for 2013 regarding Boldin’s contract.

The Ravens reportedly had asked Boldin to take a pay-cut of nearly two million dollars in the last year of his contract according to several sources-despite Boldin saying this weekend in Arizona that he would play under his current deal this season with the Ravens.

Boldin, who spent the last three years with the Ravens after coming over from the Arizona Cardinals, was a big part of the team’s Super Bowl XLVII run this season in which the receiver caught 22 balls for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs.

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