Tag Archive | "Anquan Boldin"

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Top-heavy 2014 cap commitment could be barrier to Boldin extension

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Luke Jones

News over the weekend of the Ravens’ attempt to cut the salary of Anquan Boldin by a reported $2 million has naturally been met with plenty of negative reaction in the aftermath of a tremendous postseason performance by the veteran receiver.

There are several possible outcomes to this ordeal spelled out by WNST.net’s Glenn Clark, with the idea of a short-term contract extension reducing his $7.5 million cap number for the 2013 season being the most popular one. It seems like a simple solution to the problem — and one that’s still possible considering the Ravens haven’t yet pulled the trigger in releasing Boldin — but an early look at the 2014 salary cap helps explain why general manager Ozzie Newsome and the organization might be hesitant to offer any money to the veteran beyond this season.

As it stands right now, the projected 2014 salary cap has $70.9 million in space committed to just six players — Haloti Ngata, Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, Lardarius Webb, Ray Rice, and Marshal Yanda — and next year’s cap is not expected to increase dramatically from the $123 million set for the 2013 season. Of course, the Ravens could explore contract restructures — or even releases of Suggs and Ngata, specifically — before next season, but that’s a huge percentage of space committed to a small number of players.

It’s clear the Ravens want to keep their No. 1 receiver for the 2013 season or they wouldn’t have even offered a pay cut to Boldin and would have simply terminated his contract in the way they did with veteran guard Bobbie Williams on Friday. But with Boldin turning 33 next season and already struggling to gain separation while still relying on a quick first step and incredibly strong hands, it’s fair to wonder how productive he will be as he continues through the latter portion of his career.

A contract extension would reduce Boldin’s 2013 cap number, but it also means committing money to future caps, whether they would choose to keep the veteran wideout beyond this season or not. And even if it’s only a few million dollars on the books for 2014, that would be a precious amount with the Ravens currently having an astronomical figure committed to a half-dozen players.

If the Ravens aren’t confident that Boldin will be worth the investment beyond 2013 — he turns 33 in October — you can understand their trepidation with even offering an extra year and there’s no guarantee the prideful receiver would accept that short of an extension anyway. It may simply be a case of electing to rip the band-aid off now instead of risking dead money on the 2014 cap with a potential release a year from now.

Looking for more space — and there could be more cuts coming with Vonta Leach, Jacoby Jones, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Jameel McClain as potential candidates — while hoping to commit to Boldin for one more year before reevaluating his status next offseason sounds like the perfect solution for the Ravens, but this may be a case of not being able to have your cake and eat it too.

The hardline stances taken by each side will be interesting to follow as we wait for a resolution, and it’s not dramatically different from the Bryant McKinnie saga that played out last September, which resulted in the sides working out a compromise when it appeared for several hours that the veteran tackle wasn’t going to be a member of the 2012 team. The Ravens are still hopeful something along those lines can happen again.

However, it may not be a happy ending in terms of working out a solution for Boldin to stay as Newsome must ultimately look ahead to a top-heavy 2014 salary cap and do what’s best for the organization in the long run.

Even if it means taking the short-term hit in knowing Boldin has played his final game with the Ravens.


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Your Monday Reality Check: In Ozzie we trust, with Boldin we’ve won

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

For the second time since the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, I spent the weekend away from Charm City.

I was in New York celebrating a friend’s birthday for a few days, rocking out with the Allman Brothers Band, staring at Manhattan while drinking beers on a Brooklyn rooftop and discovering what a “Yotel” was. (They seem nice.)

For the second time in as many trips away from Baltimore in recent weeks, I also spent a good chunk of my time away reminding as many folks as I could that I was “from the home of the World Champions” in as nonchalant a way as possible.

I will admit that at one point while sitting on the Brooklyn roof, I was telling a story about LB Brendon Ayanbadejo’s courageous fight for marriage equality. I started a sentence by dropping the term “I know a guy who plays for the Ravens” to which I received the response “you act like that’s not a big deal. They’re the Super Bowl champions.”

I can assure you the purpose of the story was not to illicit said response, but every time I hear those words I can’t help but smile.

No matter what your connection is to the team, there’s no question it matters a great deal to all of us to know that our hometown is held on a greater pedestal due to the incredible success of the organization with whom we share a home.

Over the course of the weekend a bevy of news flew around about the future of Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, First came a Saturday morning FoxSports.com story that said the two sides were prepared to part ways Friday after Boldin balked at the idea of cutting his $6 million base salary in 2013. It was followed by a USA Today report that stated the Boldin camp had flat out rejected an offer from the team and was readying for the postseason hero to be released and see unrestricted free agency Tuesday.

That particular report didn’t sit too well with those who remembered Anquan saying recently in a NBC Sports interview that if the team were to cut him he’d choose to retire instead of playing elsewhere. I never believed it, so it won’t bother me if he doesn’t follow up on his words. I understand why not everyone will feel how I feel.

Later Saturday news came from ESPN that Boldin was not prepared to be released but instead was planning on playing under his contract in 2013. The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday the team asked the receiver to slash his pay by $2 million.

(I was actually a bit afraid of writing about Boldin for this week’s column out of fear that when I woke up Monday morning the news would already be different.)

What the Sun report didn’t explain was how the team asked Boldin to cut his pay. If they asked him to cut his figure for 2013 but convert the money to bonus dollars in future years of a contract extension, it would seem fair. Boldin is in the last year of a four year, $28 million contract but has certainly shown a level of play that would make you think he has more than just one solid season ahead of him even at the age of 32.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens want Boldin to take pay cut to prevent being released

Posted on 09 March 2013 by Luke Jones

The Ravens awarded quarterback Joe Flacco with the richest contract in NFL history but are asking his primary receiver to take a cut in pay if he wants to remain with the organization in 2013.

As first reported by Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, wide receiver Anquan Boldin has been asked to take a pay cut to prevent being released by the start of free agency on Tuesday. The 32-year-old is scheduled to make $6 million in base salary and carries a $7.53 million number for the 2013 salary cap.

Much of Flacco’s postseason success correlated with the outstanding play of the veteran receiver, who caught 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns. The touchdown productivity matched his regular-season output of four that went along with 65 catches for 921 yards in 15 games.

Boldin said in an interview with NBC Sports last month that he would retire if he were to be released by the Ravens after catching six passes for 104 yards and the first touchdown of Super XLVII. However, a USA Today report indicates Boldin has rejected the Ravens’ request and is preparing to become a free agent.

It’s been speculated that the Ravens would explore an extension that could flip his $6 million base salary into a bonus — thus lowering his 2013 cap number — but an extension was not on the table as of Saturday afternoon.

Needless to say, the loss of Boldin would be a major blow to the Baltimore offense as the veteran shines from the slot and is the Ravens’ most consistent receiver. There’s always the possibility that the organization is playing hardball with the wideout as they wouldn’t need to release the veteran to be in compliance with the salary cap, but it’s clear general manager Ozzie Newsome is looking to create more flexibility for the Ravens to be active in free agency.

Boldin is entering the final season of a four-year, $25 million contract signed upon arriving in Baltimore through a trade with the Arizona Cardinals in 2010.

The Ravens have just over $12 million in cap space following the release of veteran guard Bobbie Williams on Friday, but that doesn’t included the anticipated tenders for their restricted free agents. Baltimore is focused on re-signing inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to a long-term contract, but unrestricted free agents are now allowed to begin negotiating with all 32 teams ahead of the start of the signing period at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Difficult decisions still loom for Ravens after locking up Flacco

Posted on 02 March 2013 by Luke Jones

General manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office had to wake up smiling the morning after reaching an agreement in principle with Joe Flacco on a six-year, $120.6 million contract that’s expected to be finalized Monday.

The move not only locks up the franchise quarterback for the long haul, but it’s also expected to provide short-term relief to a tight salary cap that would have had a difficult time absorbing a minimum of $14.9 million with the non-exclusive franchise tag. All the terms of the record-setting contract have yet to be released, but the 2013 cap number is just $7 million, according to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora.

Estimated to have roughly $18 million in cap space before accounting for their quarterback or any of their unrestricted, restricted, or exclusive-rights free agents, the Ravens will now have some space to maneuver but not enough to change the entire landscape of their offseason. Moderation will be the key as Newsome will look to sign a couple of his own unrestricted free agents, make wise decisions on his seven restricted free agents, and then turn toward the open market to explore some shrewd signings.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect as the Ravens address their remaining free agents:

No tag this year

The first order of business will be the potential use of the franchise tag as teams have until Monday at 4 p.m. to designate a player if they so desire. Many have begun asking if Newsome and the Ravens will now use the tag on outside linebacker Paul Kruger or inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, but we received a preliminary answer to that query just a few days after the Super Bowl.

“If we get a deal done with Joe, we will not franchise another player,” said Newsome as he appealed to owner Steve Bisciotti with a humorous tone. “We will not do that. You are OK with that, right?”

The 2013 tag numbers released by the NFL on Friday suggest that stance isn’t changing as the Ravens would be looking at a $9.6 million cost at the linebacker position. As it relates to Kruger, the pass rusher could contest that he should be considered a defensive end, which commands an $11.175 million tag number for the 2013 season.

Those price tags are far too expensive for Kruger or Ellerbe as the Ravens would be looking at massive cuts to accommodate the franchise tag, regardless of what Flacco’s 2013 cap number ultimately is.

Cuts still coming

We’ve spent plenty of time discussing which veterans might be on the chopping block due to cap constraints and the Ravens will still pull the trigger on a few. It just won’t be the mass exodus that was feared if Flacco had received either of the franchise tag options.

Offensive lineman Bobbie Williams is the easiest decision as the Ravens will clear $1.2 million from their cap by releasing the 36-year-old lineman. Linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo ($806,000 in savings) and Jameel McClain ($1.8 million saved) are also likely to go, with McClain becoming far more expendable if the Ravens can sign Dannell Ellerbe to a long-term deal before he hits the open market.

It would be an unpopular decision, but fullback Vonta Leach remains an intriguing option to release as it would save $3 million in cap space. Leach is tremendous at what he does as the best pure fullback in the NFL, but the Ravens are clearly moving toward a pass-heavy attack after committing the richest contract in league history to their quarterback.

The 31-year-old Leach took part in just 39.7 percent of the Ravens’ offensive snaps in the postseason, so can you justify devoting that big of a cap number to the fullback with other pressing needs at left tackle and all over the defense? Should they part ways with Leach, tight end Ed Dickson could serve in more of an H-back capacity and the Ravens could look to a younger, cheaper option coming out of college.

The Flacco contract means wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones are very likely to be safe, but the Ravens could explore reasonable contract extensions for both as they enter the final years of their respective contracts, thus lowering their cap numbers for 2013. This is especially true for Boldin, who carries a $7.5 million number for the upcoming season and proved himself worthy of a couple more years in Baltimore after an outstanding postseason.

Prioritizing unrestricted free agents


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Clock ticking, exclusive tag price falling (a little) for Flacco and Ravens

Posted on 28 February 2013 by Luke Jones

As the clock ticks for the Ravens to strike a long-term agreement with quarterback Joe Flacco ahead of Monday’s deadline to use the franchise tag, there have been no indications that the sides have engaged in contract talks since the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Flacco’s agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty entered contract discussions last weekend for the first time since last August, but there was no report of a deal being imminent. Of course, this doesn’t mean that progress hasn’t been made and it’s not surprising the sides are without an agreement as the March 4 deadline for designating a player with the franchise tag is now only days away.

Deadlines provide a greater sense of urgency to get deals done as we’ve seen in recent years when long-term agreements were struck with running back Ray Rice, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata with only hours — or even minutes — to spare in each case.

Linta has stood firm in his quest to make Flacco the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL and league insiders such as ESPN’s Adam Schefter have said a potential deal will exceed New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ five-year, $100 million contract that included $60 million guaranteed over the first three years of the deal. As has been said countless times since Super Bowl XLVII, you’d be hard-pressed to find a recent example of a player having this much leverage over a team strapped for salary-cap room and knowing they will need to fork over big bucks to a quarterback who just completed one of the greatest postseason performances in league history.

The question isn’t whether Flacco really deserves to make more than any other quarterback in football but rather do you want to keep him in Baltimore for the long haul.

The Ravens did receive some good news this week in terms of the exclusive franchise tag with New England quarterback Tom Brady and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reworking their current deals to lower their cap figures for the 2013 season. While neither is expected to impact the long-term negotiations between Flacco and the Ravens, the lower cap numbers for both Brady and Roethlisberger have taken them out of the league’s top 5 quarterback cap listings, which are averaged to determine the tender amount for the exclusive franchise tag.

As a result, the exclusive tag has been lowered from just under $20.5 million to a reported $19.13 million, making the use of the pricier option that takes Flacco off the free-agent market completely a bit more appealing. The non-exclusive tag is expected to cost $14.6 million for a quarterback, but it would allow another team to sign Flacco to an offer sheet and potentially surrender two first-round picks to the Ravens if they were unable to match the deal.

The lower number might do more to entice the Ravens to use the exclusive tag, but it requires an extra $4.5 million of cap room that the team already doesn’t have. In deciding between using the non-exclusive tag and the exclusive one, it could be the difference between keeping wide receiver Anquan Boldin and needing to make the painful decision to release him to clear an additional $6 million in cap space. The exclusive number also creates a natural springboard for Linta to use for negotiating by reminding the Ravens they already view Flacco as a $19.13 million-per-year player at worst in using the exclusive tag.

However, the cheaper non-exclusive tag would also result in sleepless nights for general manager Ozzie Newsome over the thought — as highly unlikely as it might be — of a team with a dramatic cap surplus like the Cleveland Browns swooping in and signing Flacco to a front-loaded offer sheet with an absurd cap number for 2013 that would either prohibit the Ravens from matching or force them to cut even more players to match the offer.

Regardless of where you fall on the decision of which tag the Ravens should use — and opinions are split around the league — it’s apparent how urgent this situation is for the Ravens as they’ve engaged in virtually no discussion with other free agents because they don’t have a clear picture of what their salary-cap picture will be at this point. Baltimore has been in contact with the agent for inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe — considered the second-biggest priority among their unrestricted free agents — but even keeping him would be extremely difficult if Flacco is to carry either tag number.

Ellerbe, left tackle Bryant McKinnie, safety Ed Reed, and any other free agent — with the team or not — remain little more than an afterthought at this point in time.

We’ll begin to receive more clarity by 4 p.m. on Monday, the last day teams may designate a player with the franchise tag, but it won’t mean negotiations will automatically break off should the Ravens announce they are tagging their quarterback. The significant time for the Ravens and Flacco to have a long-term contract in place by falls on March 12 at 4 p.m. for the start of the new league year — and the opening of free agency — when teams must be in compliance with the salary cap.

But in those final days leading up to the start of free agency, the ax could fall on a few of Flacco’s teammates as the Ravens wouldn’t be able to assume a long-term deal will happen in time to quell their cap concerns.

The clock is ticking as the Ravens and Flacco approach the first tangible deadline of the offseason and their negotiations.

As I wrote right after the Super Bowl, the real question is when — not as much if or how — the deal gets done.

And the Ravens are in a holding pattern with the rest of their offseason until it does.


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No Rest for the Wizard

Posted on 19 February 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

Obviously when setting the tone for the Ravens’ off-season, everything takes a back seat to resolving the Joe Flacco contract situation. The importance thereof is only magnified by the realization that there are so many questions still to be answered, so many decisions still to be made; but until the Ravens know for sure what their quarterback’s financial future may hold, everything else is essentially on hold. That however doesn’t diminish the fact that there are important decisions outside the QB position to be made before the Ravens begin their title defense and prepare for the 2013 campaign.

Conceding that the importance of Flacco’s deal is paramount to everything else, here are the next 5 major points of consideration for the Ravens to deal with this off-season in order to have hopes of a 6th straight post-season trip.


#1 – Suring Up the Left Tackle Situation


If Flacco was the biggest difference maker for the Ravens in the playoffs, then further investigation is merited in determining what helped him turn his season, and his reputation, around. For my money, it began with the offensive line. After a season in the proverbial “dog house” Bryant McKinnie was finally given a chance to show and prove, and from there the offense never seemed to look back.


In the lead up to the Broncos game, no one seemed to have any concerns about the Denver secondary. Hindsight might suggest that to have been a result of the constant quarterback pressure the Broncos were able to count on from Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. Without that pressure however, the Ravens found and readily exploited cracks in the Broncos secondary that no one seemed to know were there in the first place.


McKinnie and the Ravens began this season on unceremonious terms, and pretty much kept things that way until the end. Having proven his value, albeit over a 4-game stretch, there’s still no real assurance that the Ravens will or should trust McKinneie enough to agree to terms on a multi-year deal. On the other side of that coin, there’s no good reason to think McKinnie will feel any special brand of loyalty to the Ravens when others come calling on the open market.


What’s undeniable about the whole episode is that by replacing Michael Oher with McKinnie at LT, the Ravens were able to move Oher to his natural RT position where he represented an improvement over Kelechi Osemele. Osemele then moved to the LG position that the Ravens struggled to find an answer for all season too. This three-fold improvement made the Ravens line exponentially better; and no matter how they address LT going forward, any “solution” involving moving Oher and Osemele back to the positions they played for the majority of 2012 has to be considered multiple steps backward.


#2 – Replacing Jim Caldwell


Continuing with the theme of what was different for the Ravens offense at the end, the departure of Cam Cameron and the elevation of Jim Caldwell to the offensive coordinator position would seem to be the other major factor. The performance of Caldwell’s offense has been celebrated widely within the fan base, and certainly hasn’t been lost on the league at large either.


In an off-season where everyone seems dissatisfied with the impact of the Rooney Rule and the lack of minority hires made in filling head coaching vacancies, Caldwell will all but surely be a hot head coaching candidate at the end of next season. Even getting to the Super Bowl again, and therefore delaying the process for teams interested in Caldwell might not be enough to slow his roll.


In what looks to be a lame duck season for Caldwell with the Ravens, it’s important to figure out if the next guy in line is someone already on staff, or how the team can look to groom a next guy in line, potentially by hiring him as a quarterback coach / OC in waiting.

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Sizing up the Ravens’ possible salary cap cuts

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Luke Jones

Unless you’ve been hibernating since the glory of Super Bowl XLVII, you’re well aware of the Ravens’ salary cap woes and how critical the negotiations with quarterback Joe Flacco will be between now and March 4.

The entire offseason will hinge on whether the sides will come to an agreement on a long-term contract by that date or if the Ravens will need to use the franchise tag on their starting quarterback. Further complicating the matter would be the decision to use the $14.6 million non-exclusive tag — leaving Flacco able to negotiate with other teams — or the exclusive tag that will cost somewhere around $20 million but would take him off the market entirely.

Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations before the start of the new league year on March 12, the Ravens are likely to make at least a couple cuts in hopes of signing some of their unrestricted free agents. However, the reality of using the franchise tag would mean multiple changes simply to fit Flacco under the salary cap as Baltimore is estimated by NFL.com to be $12.9 million under the cap before addressing the signal-caller or any of its restricted free agents or exclusive rights players.

It’s important to remember the rule of 51 as the top 51 cap numbers on the roster count against the salary cap. The savings from any released player is offset in part by an additional player making it into the top 51 from the bottom of the list. For example, if a released player carrying a $3 million cap number is replaced in the top 51 by another player carrying a $405,000 cap number, the end result is a $2.595 million savings on the salary cap.

Here’s how I’d rank the list of possible candidates to be cut for cap purposes (with the cap savings noted in parentheses), in order from most likely to least likely:

1. Bobbie Williams ($1.2 million)
Skinny: The offensive lineman was relegated to reserve duties in favor of Jah Reid midway through the season and will either retire or be released. At 36, Williams will need to find a home elsewhere to continue his career, but after finally winning a Super Bowl after years in Cincinnati, he would be picking an ideal time to walk away from the game. The Ravens will go younger and cheaper to fill his reserve role in their group of offensive linemen.

2. Matt Birk ($2.05 million)
Skinny: When Birk signed a three-year contract last offseason, it was structured with an understanding of it essentially being a one-year deal as the cap figures grow substantially over the last two years of the deal. The Ravens drafted Delaware product Gino Gradkowski in the fourth round last April to be the heir apparent to Birk at the center position, so all signs point to him taking over for the 2013 season. The 36-year-old Birk is contemplating retirement and there remains a possibility the Ravens decide to keep Birk — who played very well down the stretch — for one more season if they can sign Flacco to a long-term deal in time, but most signs point to the veteran’s days being finished in Baltimore.

3. Vonta Leach ($3 million)
Skinny: The Pro Bowl fullback has done everything the Ravens could have possibly expected after signing him two summers ago, but his high cap number makes him a prime candidate to be cut considering his position just isn’t a big enough priority with the offense continuing to move toward the passing game. The Ravens would certainly miss Leach’s punishing blocking ability, but they could shift tight end Ed Dickson to more of an H-back position while also adding a younger, cheaper fullback coming out of college. With other positions to address and the lack of cap room, Baltimore just can’t justify paying a fullback so much money.

4. Brendon Ayanbadejo ($806,000)
Skinny: His lower number is the reason why the reserve linebacker isn’t ranked higher on the list, but Ayanbadejo would easily be expendable given his age and role on the team. The defense depended on him less in passing situations this season and the 36-year-old also had some lapses on special teams down the stretch. Saving less than $1 million on the cap doesn’t do much, but parting ways with the former Pro Bowl special-teams player would seem like a logical move to make with minimal impact on the makeup of the team if you need to clear money from the cap.

5. Jameel McClain ($1.8 million)
Skinny: If you could look into the crystal ball and guarantee the Ravens would re-sign fellow inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, it would be a no-brainer to part ways with McClain, who missed the end of the season after suffering a spinal cord contusion in early December. However, considering the Ravens are losing the retiring Ray Lewis and potentially Ellerbe, general manger Ozzie Newsome would be hesitant to part ways with another inside linebacker. McClain is solid against the run, but his limitations in pass coverage make him an expendable player if the Ravens are confident they can lock up Ellerbe, which obviously isn’t a sure thing at this point.

6. Jacoby Jones ($4 million)
Skinny: The return specialist and No. 3 receiver carries a large cap number, so his status will be in jeopardy if the Ravens need to use the franchise tag on Flacco. His speed on the outside was a major asset in taking pressure off fellow speed receiver Torrey Smith and opening the intermediate portion of the field to Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta, but he is still a part-time player offensively. You’d hate to lose Jones’ tremendous return ability, so there’s a good chance the Ravens would explore a contract extension to lower his cap figure and keep him for a few more years before potentially making the difficult decision to release him. Jones is owed a $1 million roster bonus in March, so that could complicate the situation further.

7. Anquan Boldin ($6 million)
Skinny: The wide receiver’s appearance on this list is based strictly on his cap number and how far that space would go in curing the Ravens’ problems if it comes down to the franchise tag for Flacco. His quarterback would be one of the first to say he wants Boldin to remain in Baltimore, so it’s likely Newsome will pursue an extension with the 32-year-old to reduce the 2013 cap number before resorting to a release. Boldin has already said he’d retire if the Ravens cut him, so perhaps the general manager could remind him of that in trying to strike a cap-friendly deal. The departure of Jones would hurt, but parting ways with Boldin would almost appear to be crippling in the short term as there is no logical replacement on the roster to count on with the disappointing development of Tandon Doss.


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Boldin claims he’ll retire if Ravens release him

Posted on 08 February 2013 by Luke Jones

After finally winning a Super Bowl championship in his 10th NFL season, Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin doesn’t see himself playing for another team.

The 32-year-old said in an interview with NBC Sports Network that he intends to retire if Baltimore releases him due to salary-cap restraints. Despite putting together a remarkable postseason that included 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns, Boldin is scheduled to make $6 million in base salary and carries a $7.5 million cap number for the 2013 season.

“I won’t play in another uniform,” Boldin said on the network’s Pro Football Talk.  “We have a saying, once a Raven, always a Raven, and I’ll always be a Raven.”

Boldin had his most productive season with the Ravens in 2012, catching 65 passes for 921 yards in 15 regular-season games. He is entering the final season of a four-year contract originally worth $28 million when he was acquired by the Ravens in 2010.

General manager Ozzie Newsome could explore an extension with Boldin that would reduce his cap figure for 2013, but it could also be viewed as a risky move to offer more money to a wide receiver who already struggles to gain separation and will be 33 in October. However, Boldin’s outstanding performance in the playoffs makes it a more difficult decision for the Ravens, who are trying to sign quarterback Joe Flacco to a long-term contract prior to the March 4 deadline for using the franchise tag.

“Baltimore is the only place I want to play,” Boldin said. “It’s the last place that I will play. For me, I’ll retire a Raven — I’m not putting on any other uniform.”

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/49ers

Posted on 05 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Jacoby Jones 108 yard kickoff return TD (3rd quarter)

4. Jacoby Jones 56 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 10 (2nd quarter)

3. Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Randy Moss on two point conversion attempt incomplete (4th quarter)

2. Joe Flacco 15 yard pass to Anquan Boldin on 3rd and inches (4th quarter)

1. Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree on 4th and goal incomplete (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Boldin says Flacco just needs to be himself at Super Bowl

Posted on 31 January 2013 by WNST Staff


(on how his trip to Ethiopia last year changed him) “It definitely makes me more grateful, but I think the thing that it did for me was it made me want to help as much as I could. I’ve been trying to get the word out about Oxfam and Oxfam America. I’ve donated money myself. We’re planning a trip to go back this offseason as well. For me it’s just trying to get the word out as much as I can.”

(on what moved him to get involved in Ethiopia when there are so many places that need help) “There is. There’s not a certain place that…there’s a need (in Ethiopia). I’ve helped out a lot of different places. I think as a human being, any time you see people in dire situations, your heart goes out to them. For me, I’m in a position where I can help. If I’m in front of a camera, people will listen. I think for me, that’s important.”

(on how he became familiar with this particular cause) “Something I was reading, I came across it. It sparked my interest and I started to do some research on my own and tried to figure out ways that I could help. Then I actually got in contact with Oxfam America. I read up on them and the relief efforts that they do across the world, not just in Africa. So we were able to contact them and join forces with them.”

(on when he visited Ethiopia) “I went down last March. We were there for a little over a week.”

(on the key to beating man-to-man coverage) “To be honest with you, they remind me of our defense a lot. Just with the talent that we have, how physical they are, how fast they play. They remind me of how our defense plays, a lot. I think the key for us is just doing what we normally do. I think there will be situations where we see man coverage. I think us as a receiver corps, we definitely welcome man coverage because we feel like if you beat one guy there’s a lot of room to run.”

(on the Super Bowl experience he had with the Cardinals) “For me, it’s definitely been something that’s been on my mind since that Super Bowl. Everything that I have done as far as working out, as far as preparing, has been to get back to this point and to win. I think whenever you’re in a situation like that and being a competitor, you don’t want to lose. But I think when you do in a situation like that, it drives you. I mean, for me, it’s been only about football and getting back and trying to win.”

(on saying that he’s not a receiver, he’s a football player) “I think a receiver goes out there and catches the ball. Me, I do whatever it takes to win, whatever I’m asked by the coaches, whatever I’m asked of by this team. If that’s catching a ball, great. If that’s going out and laying a block on somebody, whatever it is.”

(on what he’ll tell his teammates about dealing with Sunday’s routine) “Just trying to make it a normal day as much as you can. Understanding pregame is going to be extra long, halftime is extra, extra long. Just not exerting too much energy because everybody is used to going out and warming up at a certain time. Coming in the locker room, having a certain amount of time in the locker room before you go back out. Having a certain amount of time before the coin toss. You can toss all that to the side, because it’s completely different. Not trying to go out and use too much energy or get too excited too early.”

(on if he will do things differently than he did in the Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl) “Definitely. Exactly that, managing the time a lot better.”

(on if he has any advice for Joe Flacco as to how he should handle Sunday) “My only advice to Joe is be yourself. I think he does a great job preparing for each game. I think the even keel mentality is great.”


(on his memories of how he felt walking off the field after losing the Super Bowl) “It’s definitely a letdown. You feel disappointed. Once you lose, they’re roping off the field, herding the losing team to the locker room and letting the winning team celebrate. You don’t want that feeling, going back into the locker room knowing that you were this close and didn’t come through.”


(on his history of elevating his performance in the postseason) “It’s definitely a sense of urgency in the postseason. I think anybody who has ever played in the postseason knows it’s either win or go home, and nobody wants to go home. I think for myself, I’ve always felt that sense of urgency to get it done. It took me five years just to get to the playoffs, so I know myself playoffs aren’t guaranteed. You never know if or when you’re going to get back, so you have to make the most of it.”


(on Joe Flacco’s ability throw the deep ball) “For him, that’s just a God-given ability. I don’t think there’s any magic to it. He just has it.”


(on if he knows he’s going to catch the ball if it’s anywhere near him) “My mentality is if the ball’s in the air, it’s definitely my ball. I think you’re taught that as a receiver. I think any receiver is taught that. Any time the ball is in your area, it’s your ball. The ball isn’t going to be perfect every time. We get paid to make plays. That’s our mentality. Any time the ball’s in the air, go attack it. It’s our ball.”


(on how the identity of the Ravens has changed as the offense has improved) “We’re a more complete team, as opposed to in the past just relying on the defense, not losing the game on offense. I think we’ve evolved to being a complete team, all three phases: offense, defense, special teams. I think there’s certain games this year where you saw the offense take over. You’ve seen places where the defense stood up and seen games where our special teams has just taken over completely. I think that’s the point where we are now.”


(on if he wanted to help the offense ‘catch up with the defense’ when he arrived in Baltimore) “Definitely. Coming from Arizona, we were a high-powered offense, and it was just the opposite for us. We felt like we had to score on every possession, so I wasn’t used to being an offense that was managing a game. Coming here, I definitely didn’t want that label, so we worked our butts off to change it.”


(on the best and worst thing about growing up in Pahokee, Florida) “The worst thing about growing up? I’d probably say the lack of opportunities. Now that I’m not there, I’m able to get outside and see different things, I think the lack of opportunities.”


(on the financial contributions he’s made to his hometown) “I think for me it’s important to give back to my hometown to give them as many opportunities as possible to succeed. I think that’s very important. Any time you can instill hope in a kid, I think you’ve done a great thing. You’ve breathed life into that child. That’s always been my goal, and I’ll continue to do that.”


(on how important football is to the kids of Pahokee) “Anybody that knows a little about that area knows that football is very important. It’s definitely been a way out for a lot of people, myself included. Football is definitely big there.”

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