Tag Archive | "Anquan Boldin"

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Boldin says Flacco no different in postseason than ever before

Posted on 30 January 2013 by WNST Staff



(on playing in his second Super Bowl) “Great feeling. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity, for me twice though. Definitely want to come back here and finish what I didn’t finish a couple of years ago.”


(on the emotion of walking on the field on Super Bowl Sunday) “For me, I just want to make it another game. I know there’s a lot that’s going on around the game, but there’s still a game to be played. For me, I’m here for that reason and that reason only.”


(on if he takes pride in being a tough receiver who will go across the middle) “I think for me, I look at it as I’m a football player, not so much a receiver. I think a lot of people, you get that label, especially as a receiver of being divas and things like that, but for myself, I’m just a football player.”


(on what it means to him that his peers respect him the way they do) “It means a lot because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters. The people that you play with, those are the people whose respect you’re really trying to earn. I think if you can do that, you’ve really done something.”


(on San Francisco’s defense) “They have a great defense. I think the thing for us is we had a chance to play against them last year. I think we played them Thanksgiving night last year, so we’ve had a chance to go against them. It’s a great defense, especially up front and in their linebackers. They probably have the best linebacker core in the NFL. They have two great safeties on the back end and some good corners as well. They’re not here for no reason at all. We don’t expect anything different on Sunday.”


(on what Joe Flacco has done differently over the last month than he did earlier in the season) “I don’t think he’s doing anything different. I just don’t think people were giving him the respect that he was due early on in the season. I think he’s played great all year, but I think just the stage that we’ve been on the last couple of weeks has magnified who Joe is, and I’m glad people get a chance to see him for exactly who he is.”


(on the definition of what Flacco is) “A great quarterback. Since I’ve been here, people have been questioning whether he’s an elite quarterback. I think over the course of this season, not just the last three weeks, he’s proven that.”


(on what makes Flacco elite) “Everything about him. First of all, his talent. I don’t think I’ve played with anybody as physically talented as Joe at the quarterback position. Strong arm. I think he’s more athletic than people give him credit for. He’s definitely a lot faster than what people think, but just his decision making. Over the last couple of years, he’s been given a chance to get us in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage and I think he’s done a great job of doing that.”


(on Flacco having a reputation as a quiet and reserved guy) “I think for us, it’s funny for us to hear people say that because we get a chance to be around him outside of football. He’s a guy that loves to have fun. He’s not as quiet as you guys think. It’s funny for us to hear you guys say that. He’s a normal person. He loves to have fun, loves to joke around, definitely in the locker room. We enjoy him.”


(on what advice he’s given his teammates when it comes to dealing with everything that goes on during Super Bowl week) “I think the thing I tried to get across to them is take advantage of the opportunities because the opportunity doesn’t come around often. You look at guys like Ray Lewis. He was able to play in a Super Bowl, but it’s been 13 years since he’s been able to get back. You look at Ed Reed who has been in the league 11 years, it’s his first Super Bowl. A guy like (Terrell) Suggs, same thing, 10 years, first Super Bowl. You want to take advantage of it. Like I told them, there’s going to be a lot of distractions. There’s going to be a lot of things going on around the game, but at the end of the day, on Sunday, you have to play a game and you want to be as prepared as possible to go win that game because the one thing I took away from my first Super Bowl is you don’t want to walk away not holding that trophy. That’s something that sits with you, something that for me, it’s bugged me since that day. I’m glad I’m able to get back here and try to make right on that.”




Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013






(on what Ravens Sr. Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance means to the team) “I think O.J. means a lot to this organization, period. The things that he’s been through, the things that he’s still fighting through, still his willingness to continue to fight, I think everybody in our locker room is inspired by that.”


(on if he’s amazed that O.J. Brigance is doing the things that he is under the circumstances) “Definitely. Like I said, we get a chance to see O.J. every day. Just the knowledge that he imparts on the entire organization is just, it’s a blessing for us to have him.”


(on Torrey Smith overcoming the adversity of losing his brother) “I think he’s done a great job of dealing with it. For me personally, I can’t imagine going through an ordeal like that and having to play, especially the next day. I think as an organization, we’ve tried to be as supportive as possible. We’ve tried to put our arms around him and love him, let him know that we’re there for him, whatever he needs. I think he’s done a great job. I think Torrey’s real mature for his age. He’s pretty much the man of his house in his family, and he’s done a great job of dealing with that and playing great football at the same time.”


(on if the Ravens have a lot of momentum following consecutive road wins) “I think so, but I think the thing for us is we’re practicing well. You know the old saying, you practice well you play well, so hopefully we can continue to do that.”


(on Randy Moss) “He’s a guy that I respect. He’s a guy that I’ve watched over the years, even before I was a receiver, I was a Randy Moss.”


(on how he’s different as a player from his first Super Bowl appearance) “I think I’m a lot more appreciative of everything now. I know this time around I’m able to take it all in and actually see it for what it is.”


(on if he’s happier now than he was in January of 2009) “I think for now I’m able to go out and just play the game. I don’t have to worry about contract situations. I don’t have to worry about this and that. I’m able to come in and just play. That’s one of the things the Ravens have allowed me to do, just come in and be a football player. Coach (John) Harbaugh talks about it all the time: let your light shine, be yourself. They really allow you to do that, so I’m happy for that.”


(on if he felt like he couldn’t be himself in Arizona) “I think in Arizona, I don’t know how to say it, but there were times that for some guys, being yourself wasn’t what they wanted.”


(on what he admires about Randy Moss) “I’ve always viewed him as a game changer. I think if you look at Randy Moss over the years, he’s been able to change a lot of games just with his speed, his ability to stretch the field and his ability to make plays in traffic. There’s times when he’s gone up over two or three guys. I’ve always viewed him as a game changer, so I don’t think anything has changed in that respect.”


(on his relationship with Torrey Smith) “Torrey is like my little brother. He’s definitely a guy that I look out for. He’s definitely a guy that has grown on me. From the time he came in, he’s one of the guys that I really just tried to help out, really tried to help mentor. He’s done a great job of learning and playing well on the field.”


(on what he’s tried to teach Torrey Smith on the field) “Just how to become a complete receiver. Coming out of college, he was known as a speedster, but I want everybody to see how great of a receiver he is, how great of a route runner he is, how great he can catch, how good of a blocker he is. Just becoming the complete package.”


(on if Boldin is still better than Torrey Smith) “That’s a question you’ve got to answer.”

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