With the news this weekend that the Ravens have asked Anquan Boldin to take a pay cut – and the conflicting reports of whether or not Boldin has rejected their proposal – opinions have been flying around Baltimore regarding number 81.
One guy who is on the “keep Q” side of the fence is Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
Per USA today, Flacco had the following to say:
“Without him, we don’t win the Super Bowl. He’s a huge part of this team and someone I want to see back,” Flacco, who signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract this offseason, told USA Today Sports. “Obviously, when you’re a player of his caliber, you believe you’re worth a number and that’s what you should get. He’s going to stick to his guns, and that’s the way it should be.”
One has to believe that Joe fully realizes the value of his connection with Boldin, which was on full display after the departure of former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, and especially during the team’s Super Bowl run.
At his press conference announcing his contract extension, Flacco said that, “I love to play with [my teammates], so hopefully it works out very good for the organization and we can keep as many people as I need.” It isn’t far-fetched to imagine that Boldin was at the front of his mind when he said that. As much as I’m sure Joe would like to see guys like Dannell Ellerbe back, keeping Boldin and say, Bryan McKinnie probably takes precedent for the quarterback.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com writes that there may be some strife between Boldin and his agent regarding the salary reduction:
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, ProFootballTalk reported on Saturday that Boldin’s chances of staying with the Ravens are “50-50.” An obviously torn Boldin has expressed sentiments that don’t mesh with those of sourced reports, raising suspicion that his agent wants him to hit the market in search of a better deal.
If this is indeed the case, Ravens fans hope that Boldin tells his agent to go take a long walk off a short pier. Unfortunately, this is the business side of football, which doesn’t always work out the way fans would prefer.
Hopefully Boldin and the team can come to an agreement soon. All the hand-waving in the world about why the team might be OK WITHOUT “Q” doesn’t change the fact that they will certainly be at least a bit better WITH him.