Football is a game, but it is also a business and hard decisions have to be made. Working to get under the 2013 salary cap, the Baltimore Ravens faced a tough decision when they cut their top wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Monday afternoon the Baltimore Sun reported that Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth round pick.
In 2009 Boldin was traded to the Ravens from the Arizona Cardinals. He became the one of the top receivers in Baltimore; he was the all-time leader in Ravens playoff history with 616 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He was a key part of the 2012 playoff run and Super Bowl victory.
Boldin was set to earn $6 million this season. The Ravens asked him to take a $2 million salary reduction or be released. Boldin refused the reduction in salary and became an unrestricted free agent. The 49ers swooped in and offered a trade and the Ravens took them up on their offer.
Boldin is currently on a charity trip in Africa. He needs to pass a physical before the deal is official.
Originally Boldin said that if the Ravens cut him he would retire, he reconsidered and decided to continue his football career.
Comcast SportsNet’s Brent Harris said this is the business of the National Football League. The Ravens had three choices; pay, release or trade Boldin, they opted for the trade. They made out well considering they would have gotten nothing had they released him.
Releasing Boldin begs the question of who will take his place. The Ravens have other receivers; Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith; however their No. 4 receiver, Tandon Doss, is injury prone and unproven.
The Ravens are likely to look for a free agent receiver, one who will cost less than $6 million. They generally don’t make moves without a plan in place and I have faith in general manager’s Ozzie Newsome’s ability to find a suitable replacement.
I’m not going to lie, I was sad about losing Boldin, but football is a business and there are no guarantees. Derrick Mason and Todd Heap were good receivers and the Ravens cut them. At the time, there was an uproar; but they were replaced and all was right in the world. I have faith that the same thing will happen again.