Pump the Breaks on ‘Q to Retire a Raven’

Street Talk Pump the Breaks on ‘Q to Retire a Raven’

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It wasn’t long ago that the Ravens were in hot pursuit of some much needed assistance in the Wide Receiver department. At the time, Jeremy Maclin was still a Chief, and the Ravens direly needed a possession receiver to fill the void Steve Smith Sr. left behind.

Anquan Boldin‘s name continued to surface, with the common refrain being that he 1) has great rapport with Joe Flacco, 2) loves Baltimore, and 3) would be relatively inexpensive.

As fate would have it, Maclin was released by Kansas City and went on to sign with the Ravens. Interest in Boldin became a whisper at best, and eventually ‘Q’ would go on to sign a deal with the Buffalo Bills, seeing an opportunity with a team on the rise (I suppose).

Unfortunately for Boldin, things in the Bills organization took a quick turn to, what appears to be, the realm of rebuilding, as stud WR Sammy Watkins was traded along with CB Ronald Darby, and now RB LeSean McCoy is allegedly on the trading block.

So instead of going out with a whimper as a footnote in Buffalo, Boldin decided to call it a career at age 36.

I applaud Boldin for going out on his terms. He feels there’s more purpose in his life and he’s going to pursue that, which is exactly what Baltimore knows of Boldin from his time in the city and his charity.

BUT… we all know what’s coming today…

“BOLDIN NEEDS TO SIGN A 1-DAY CONTRACT WITH BALTIMORE TO RETIRE A RAVEN.”

Folks, I get that Boldin definied ‘Play Like a Raven’ at the WR position. He spent three glorious years here in Baltimore. He was an absolute fan favorite by every last person in purple and black, and had he signed with Baltimore this offseason we would have all dusted off our Q jerseys and welcomed him back with open arms.

Rightfully so.

But he’s not going to sign a 1-day retirement deal in Baltimore, nor should he.

In terms of tenure, Boldin spent the better part of his career with the Arizona Cardinals- the team that drafted him out of Florida State back in 2003. In fact, Boldin spent more time with the Cardinals organization (7 seasons) than he did with the Ravens (3) & the 49ers (3) combined. He also has three Pro Bowl nods in career- all in Arizona as well.

On a stat front, Q’s best statistical season for targets (’03), receptions (’05),  yards (’05), and TD’s (’08) all came in Arizona, and of his SEVEN seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards? None came during his tenure in Baltimore.

Honestly, outside of his sole year in Detroit in ’16, Baltimore was statistically Boldin’s worst stop in his NFL career.

Yes, worse than the 49ers.

(wipes the launched rotten tomatoes off, continues the article)

The one note Ravens fans will point to will be the Super Bowl victory. Boldin won a title with the Ravens in 2012, and that should trump everything else!

Yea, it kinda doesn’t work that way.

Yes, Boldin did walk away from Baltimore with a ring, because in 2012, his team was better than the team they faced in 2012. But was it really the best team he’s been on? I’d argue that the 2008 NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals team was the best team he has played for. Those ’08 Cards were also a Super Bowl team, that simply didn’t come out on the top due to a twinkle-toe Santonio Holmes touchdown.

But for me, this isn’t a battle of ‘who Q liked more.’ I think he makes his decision based on who he is as a person, and at the end of the day, I don’t take Boldin as a guy to retire with any team, honestly. Here’s where his head is- in his own words:

He’s not the guy to isolate a single person, let alone a group of people, and it’s safe to assume the same can be said for fanbases of the teams he’s played on. I believe he cherished his time and his team in Baltimore, but no more than he did in Arizona or even San Fran. Boldin has made it very clear his focus moving forward will be a humanitarian effort, and as such, his ties to the NFL will be left as is.

As for us Ravens fans, let’s be honest with ourselves- Does the 1-day deal really make a difference?

If Boldin chooses to retire and then sign the paperwork today, does it make his time in Baltimore any less valuable? Do we really need that retirement in Baltimore to make us feel better, or assume that he liked Baltimore more than Arizona or San Fran? Does that 1-day deal even validate that he preferred Baltimore to other cities?

At the end of the day, we should be focused on applauding Q’s amazing career, his immaculate Super Bowl run with the Ravens, and his decision to focus his efforts on making this world a better place.

Thanks for the memories, Q!

boldinlombardi

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Adam Bonaccorsi

About Adam Bonaccorsi

Known by his fellow 227ers at M&T Bank Stadium as “Are You Kidding Me?” Adam is a vocal and opinionated Baltimore sports fans, who appreciates thinking outside of the box and offering far-fetched perspectives that tend to leave readers left wondering ‘what if?’ or sometimes 'seriously bro?' and occasionally, 'I'll have what he's drinking!' Or just 4-letter expletive-laden responses. Those are the best. More from Adam Bonaccorsi

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