Boldin Catches Ravens' Eye

Team Expresses Interest In Trading For Receiver

April 17, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

In a move that could drastically change this year's NFL draft, the Ravens have expressed interest in acquiring wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals, a league source confirmed Thursday.

It would likely take a first- and a third-round draft pick to acquire Boldin, who had 89 catches for 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

This is the third time in five years the Ravens have considered trading for a wide receiver. Their trade for Terrell Owens in 2004 was rescinded, and the team failed to complete a deal for Randy Moss in 2005.

Asked whether the Ravens have contacted the Cardinals about Boldin, general manager Ozzie Newsome said Thursday: "With the draft coming up, I've had a chance to talk to eight different teams over the past 48 hours."

Boldin, 28, would be attractive to the Ravens because they couldn't draft a proven receiver like him with the 26th overall pick.

The receivers who are expected to be available near the bottom of the first round - Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, Florida's Percy Harvin, North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks and Rutgers' Kenny Britt - would need a couple of years before being as polished as Boldin.

In six NFL seasons, Boldin has 83.7 catches per season and 81.2 receiving yards per game. Last season, he caught a career-high 11 touchdown passes - one more than the entire Ravens group combined.

The addition of Boldin, 6 feet 1, 217 pounds, would also provide stability to the Ravens' wide receivers. Their top three - Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams - are scheduled to become free agents at the end of the 2009 season.

Boldin has two years remaining on a six-year, $33.99 million deal, but he is seeking a new contract. He became dissatisfied with Arizona after the team signed receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a contract (four years, $40 million) that nearly doubled Boldin's average annual salary.

He expressed his unhappiness with the Cardinals publicly, from fuming about his contract during the summer to arguing with then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sideline during the NFC championship game.

The other teams that could pursue Boldin are the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and New York Jets, according to ESPN.

On the Michael Irvin's Dallas radio show on Thursday, Boldin talked about the possibility of being traded, saying: "I just want to get it resolved. It's been going on way too long." He later added: "It would hurt, but at the same time, change is necessary. My only problem has been management, always has been."

Arizona essentially made Boldin available via trade Wednesday.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said: "It would be foolish from our standpoint not to listen to those opportunities and see what actually exists."

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