By now most of us have read what Anquan Boldin had to say to the media yesterday and if you're anything like me, your head is probably hanging a little low today. It almost sounded like a different person saying he was done with the organization that drafted him just six years ago. Boldin's been a team captain, a team spokesperson (convincing Edge to sign) and played with as much, if not more heart and desire than any Cardinal. Reading his comments had me questioning all of the....well love, for lack of a better term, that I had built up over that time. I understand that the NFL is a business and that a player has to try to get what he feels is his
'maximum value' because a career can end at any moment, but not like this Q. Maybe I'm just drunk on Cardinal Kool-Aid, but I'm holding out hope that his tirade was more of line in the sand than a definitive goodbye.
While some fans may understand and even partially agree with Boldin, I still question his tactics. The heart of his argument centers around that idea that he was lied to by the organization, who promised him a new contract by the start of this season. Well Q, the season hasn't started yet has it? In fact, by my calculations (which are limited to looking at a calender) the team still has six weeks to iron out a new deal before the season starts. According to Drew Rosenhaus, the agent who is normally standing behind a disgruntled player, he had been in communication with the team and was even in camp yesterday talking with GM Rod Graves. It's even more disheartening that Rosenhaus seems like the 'cooler head' right now. Who knows if the two sides could have come to an agreement on a new deal before the Cardinals travel to San Francisco on September the 7th, but one thing is clear, Boldin wasn't ready to wait that long.
As for a resolution, there are three options that come to mind:
Hope for a new deal? - I still believe that if the Cardinals come to Boldin with a contract that is in the neighborhood of his market value is, that he would sign. It's happened countless times that a player renounces a team but then resigns once a legit offer is on the table (Lance Briggs). Q just wants to be paid according to his play on the field and it doesn't really matter what team name is on the top of the contract.
Just trade him before it gets worse? - If the Cardinals either can't agree on what his market value is or they simply don't want to have two highly paid wide receivers, they could attempt to trade him. Player for player trades are rare but Boldin could command a second or even first round pick in return, if the Cardinals can get the right team on the phone. While it would be painful to see Q in another uniform, having an additional first round pick could be enough to spell the hurt. Not the mention, that some fans think that Doucet was drafted to replace Q if a deal couldn't be reached.
Play out your contract and leave? - This possibility seems to be Boldin's choice but in my mind, it's the worst option for everyone considered. I can't imagine going through the next three seasons and hearing about Boldin's contract situation on a daily basis. His level of discord with the organization would grow daily and alienate him from teammates and fans. From his point of view, if he played out his current deal he'd hit free agency at 30 years old (not the prime age for a free agent wide out). He certainly wouldn't get seven to nine million a season at the age of 30.
So what's going to happen, honestly no one knows. I would imagine though that if some resolution isn't reached this season (ala new contract), then the next off season will be dedicated to either finding a trading parter or resigning him. This simply can't go on for three seasons and the sooner it's resolved the better. Thoughts? Is there another way out of this mess that I haven't mentioned? Am I the only one who's losing some love for Q?