May 9 quietly serves as an important day on the NFL calendar for teams like the Ravens that covet compensatory picks. That’s when veteran free agents who weren’t released by their previous teams, can be signed without it negatively impacting the compensatory pick formula. That makes the day a red-letter date for Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office who were undoubtedly waiting until then to ink any remaining free agents.
One such potential free agent is Anquan Boldin.
Now it remains to be seen if a possible reunion is in the cards. While the Ravens have openly expressed interest, Boldin has had little to say on where he’d like to play next season other than he would like to be as close to his Florida home as possible. While Baltimore isn’t geographically positioned on the other side of the country, there are obviously other teams that could provide Boldin with an opportunity to be closer to the Sunshine State. Not to mention, the Ravens somewhat mishandled the split in 2012. You couldn’t blame Boldin if he was still bitter for being asked to take a paycut after being one of the team’s biggest catalyst during the 2012 Super Bowl run.
At age 36, Boldin is bordering on ancient by NFL standards and he won’t be the contributor that he was from 2010-2012. Some have questioned whether bringing him back at this point in his career would be a wise move by Ozzie Newsome, but do the Ravens really have a choice? If Boldin wants to come back to Baltimore, the Ravens should welcome him with open arms.
Mike Wallace proved he can still be a major contributor in 2016 and Breshad Perriman showed flashes of why the Ravens picked him in the first round in 2015. But the Ravens are taking a major risk if they start the season with no depth behind them.
Perriman hasn’t proven that he can be a consistent playmaker yet, and Wallace showed signs of immaturity last season when he openly pouted after not getting enough looks for a portion of the season. Boldin would be the chain mover that the Ravens desperately lack and he would instantly become the mature presence the wide receiver corps currently lacks.
Boldin also provides a missing ingredient to Joe Flacco…chemistry. The Ravens signal caller has shown that he is a guy who meshes well with certain pass catchers like Derrick Mason, Dennis Pitta, Steve Smith, Sr., Torrey Smith and Boldin. Rumors swirled that the Ravens might reunite with their second-round pick from 2011 this offseason but ultimately, Torrey landed in Philadelphia. Bringing back Boldin is probably a better option anyway because his skill set will better complement the speed of Perriman and Wallace. The Ravens have always envisioned Michael Campanaro to be that shifty possession receiver but keeping the Edelman-esque player on the field has been a challenge.
Simply put, if Boldin is up for the reunion it should be a no brainer for Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh.
Clearly he’s not a long-term solution, but he would certainly help in 2017.
And at the end of the day, the reunion would also help correct a front office blunder and allow Boldin to retire with the team he wanted to all along.