When asked recently about the possibility of Anquan Boldin returning to the Ravens, Coach John Harbaugh replied:
“I don’t know if Anquan wants to come back. That would be another thing we’d have to look into. I do believe he can still play at the highest level. His ability and his skills are such that he’s not going to drop off the edge just because of how he plays. I know he loved it in Baltimore, and I loved him in Baltimore. Didn’t want him to have to leave when it happened. That’s just the way things worked out. I’d be for it.”
Boldin said he will likely wait to sign with a team until closer to training camp, just as he did when he signed with the Lions last year in late July. And for Boldin, holding off on finding a new employer makes sense on a couple levels.
By now most teams have answered a lot of their roster questions. He can assess the landscape and decide which team has the best chance of competing for a championship. It also allows him to avoid locking in with a team that could draft a receiver high and jeopardize his playing time. Selling him on his potential role probably plays just as equal an importance as ability to win. He’ll likely look for the best balance of the two.
Boldin would be a terrific fit for the Ravens. As of right now the only ideal fit they have for the slot receiver position is Michael Campanaro. We know the contested catch terror he was during the team’s last Super Bowl run. While he’s lost a step as an athlete, he can still do damage between the hashes. As currently constructed, he’d probably be the best redzone weapon on the team. He’d be a nice fall back option if the Ravens can’t find an immediate impact at wide receiver in the draft.
For now we know the Lions and Ravens have interest and it appears that the Lions the edge. They’ve bolstered their offensive line, have weapons and an established identity offensively. If they don’t draft a wide receiver high Q could slide back into the same role as a slot receiver and featured red zone guy.
The Ravens hold the edge defensively and have been a more stable and consistent team over the years. The familiarity he has with the franchise and with QB Joe Flacco can’t hurt. They still have some work to do on offense but by training camp they could close that gap with a good draft and one or two more complementary pieces in free agency.
Time will tell how putting off any potential signing shakes out for Boldin, but for local fans who still rock their No. 81 jerseys, the waiting in the hardest part.