Friday, March 5, 2010

The Boldin and the Beautiful

The Ravens reeled in Anquan Boldin for a 3rd round pick in 2010 and a 6th round pick in 2011. The Ravens also got a 5th round pick from the Cardinals in the trade.

The Ravens finally did it.

They finally went out and got themselves the bonafide #1 WR they've needed since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996.

The Ravens have had some decent WR's in the past: Michael Jackson, Derrick Alexander, Qadry Ismael, Derrick Mason...but none of those WR's had the game changing potential that Anquan Boldin possesses.

The Ravens landed Boldin from Arizona for a 3rd rounder in 2010 and a 6th rounder in 2011. They Ravens also got a 5th round pick from Arizona. I'd call that a steal.

They then locked up Boldin to a 4 year, $28 million dollar contract extension, meaning that he's signed through 2013.

There isn't much downside to landing Boldin. Of course there are the injury problems, which can't be overlooked. In his 7 year career, Boldin has played 16 games only once. So getting onto the field is definitely Boldin's biggest issue.

But when he's on the field, look out.

Boldin has a 79.2 yards per game average during his career. In 2005 he had a whopping 100 YPG receiving for the year. Granted that was 5 years ago, but Boldin is still 29. He's got some mileage left on him, the question is just how much is left?

The only people smiles bigger than mine right now have to be Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco. Boldin gives Cameron a weapon that should immensely change the way the Ravens run their offense. He isn't primarily known as a deep threat, but he is known for yards after catch (YAC). Boldin gives Flacco a weapon and a safety valve. Previously, it was Mason, who was an excellent route runner. But Mason at 35 was too old to have that responsibility on his shoulders. With Boldin, Flacco has a younger and more explosive security blanket at his disposal. And on top of that, Boldin makes every other WR on the field that much more dangerous too. Boldin should see a lot of double coverage, which will allow Donte Stallworth, Mark Clayton and possibly Derrick Mason (if re-signed) to make plays in single coverage. Gone are the days when Ravens WR disappear for games at a time.

Am I setting my sights too high? Maybe. But there's no denying it. Boldin is the real deal.

My hats off to Ozzie Newsome for going out and doing what the fans wanted since the final seconds ticked off the clock in Indianapolis. It was the right move and the price wasn't that steep.

Welcome to Baltimore, Q!

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