When the Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick, fans in San Francisco weren’t the only ones excited to see the wide receiver move on from his time in Baltimore. Earlier this morning on NFL AM, Steelers safety Ryan Clark expressed his delight to not have to face Boldin twice per year as a member of the AFC North.
As Clark was asked about Boldin, he jokingly replied, “I’m not upset about it at all; I think it was a very good move for the Baltimore Ravens.”
News of Boldin’s trade was not well-received amongst the majority of the Ravens fan base following his involvement in the team’s Super Bowl run. Even though it’s impossible to think that any Ravens fan could see eye-to-eye with a player from the Steelers, most would probably agree with Clark’s assessment.
“If you look at the plays Anquan Boldin makes . . . you think about the plays he made to get them to that Super Bowl, I think he’s the difference-maker,” Clark said. “[Boldin is] the guy who brings the toughness to that receiving corps, I think it’s going to be tough to replace him, both leadership-wise, as well as his play on the field.”
Now that fans have had a couple weeks to lick their wounds, trading Boldin to save his $6 million base salary for 2013 doesn’t look as bad, especially after news broke on Sunday of the Ravens agreeing to terms with free-agent pass rusher Elvis Dumervil. Most believed Boldin was traded to free cap space to sign linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, now with the Miami Dolphins. Even though it appears the Ravens were one-upped by the Dolphins for Ellerbe’s services, general manager Ozzie Newsome has once again shown that sometimes the best move is the one you don’t make at all.
The Ravens will miss Boldin, but if they replace him with a replenished fast, young, menacing defense like the one Ravens fans are used to, it will soften the blow. Dumervil isn’t the final piece of the Ravens puzzle to repeat a Super Bowl victory, but they are turning that $6M in cap space that he would have taken up into several exciting new pieces.