I completely admit it: that stung. Watching Anquan Boldin slice and dice the Green Bay Packer defense to the tune of 13 receptions, 208 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown was reminiscent of his dominant play throughout the Ravens’ epic postseason run. Watching him do it in a San Francisco 49er jersey was even worse. The major kick in the gut? Watching the Ravens struggle on offense against the Denver Broncos with receivers dropping the ball left and right, and knowing how much better the offense would be with Q still in a Raven’s uniform.
Against the Packers, Boldin found holes in the zone, patrolled the middle of the field, caught backbreaking passes on critical downs, and flaunted his physicality with his trademark blocking. The 49ers thrived off his physicality. The fans serenaded him with, “Q!” Boldin clearly has a point to prove, and he clearly wants to shed the, “too old, too slow, too expensive” label. No doubt about it, he still has something left in the tank.
But the question is how much left in the tank?
I didn’t overly criticize Ozzie Newsome’s decision on jettisoning Boldin in March, and though his performance today makes me wonder, I still think moving on without him is best in the long run for the Ravens. Sure, there will be some short term pains—watching him explode like this past game, and watching the Ravens implode in the passing game. Would I have liked to keep Boldin and let go of Jacoby Jones? Probably. But that didn’t happen.
The money saved on Boldin’s contract helped sign more defensive players (Elvis Dumervil, Michael Huff, Daryl Smith, Chris Canty, and Marcus Spears) than what the Ravens would have saved had they cut Jones. That is quite a "trade" in its own right. Well worth the short term pains the team is enduring now.
Boldin will not keep up this production in the long run. This is still a case of letting a player go a year too early (see today’s performance) rather than too late (when he will not be routinely turning this kind of performance).
I agree with the Ravens’ brass. Let the younger receivers grow and develop with your franchise quarterback because that is best for the team as they move forward. Hindsight is 20/20. Sure, it looks like a horrible, stubborn, bone-headed decision here in week one. However, let’s re-evaluate the move at the end of the season, and even into next year. It may sting quite a bit less.
9/10/2013 06:22:07 am
I would have left out Huff in the list of players we were able to sign. Micheal Huff is the biggest bust signing of the year. He showed us all why the stinky raiders got rid of him.
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An avid sports fan, and a passionate Ravens fan. However, I don't always wear the purple-shaded glasses.