Boldin Wants 1500 Yards

By Zack Cimini

While other high profiled wide receivers shone the spotlight on themselves with self promotions on and off the field, twittering, and nagging injuries to keep them out of training camp, Anquan Boldin’s been straight business since leaving Drew Rosenhaus. Here is an athlete that wanted out of his deal and to be traded more than anyone in the NFL. Yet nothing came to a conclusion the way he would have liked. Instead of pouting all summer and holding out, Boldin’s been all about putting his team ahead of himself. He has been working hard with a chip on his shoulder, and has set high expectations for himself.

On local channel 12 news in an interview with Bruce Cooper based from training camp in Flagstaff, Anquan Boldin told Cooper that he has his eyes set on getting 1500 yards receiving this year. It’s an awfully high goal for a receiver, but don’t rule it out of Boldin’s reach.

After all he has came close to 1500 yards twice already in his career. Those years were in his rookie campaign in 2003, and again in 2005 when he had 1,407 yards receiving. Mind you that 2005 year he missed two games, or would have achieved that mark. Missing games is what has been the distinguishing mark between himself and Fitzgerald. Each of the last two seasons Boldin has missed a big stretch of games (4 each).Though at the end of the season Boldin is right there statistically amongst the best receivers in the league.

His physical style of play for a receiver is unmatched by anyone in the NFL. When he makes a catch he is looking to attack with a demolition mentality. He is not going down without busting into a defender or two. Like Boldin has said what receiver in the league would have been back onto the field after basically fracturing his face? We highly doubt many would have been able to return in that quick of time span. He could have also missed part of the playoffs with a serious nagging hamstring that kept him out the last two weeks of 2008. Instead he played through it even when aggravating it against the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the playoffs.

The finger pointing on Boldin’s contract situation can go right back at the agent that got him into this mess, Drew Rosenhaus. After a strong rookie season Boldin listened to Rosenhaus and held out briefly by skipping mini camp. That strategy did work, but the incentive laden structure of his contract was absolutely pitiful. Rosenhaus set Boldin up well for the first part of the deal with a great signing bonus of $10 million, but his base salaries are atrocious towards the end of his deal. In hindsight, Boldin obviously had his eyes set on the green up front, but now he has to deal with the 2.75 million (2009), and 3 million (2010) he is set to make.

We’d hope the Cardinals will reward Boldin and not be as stubborn as they’ve been in negotiations. Even Larry Fitzgerald just restructured his deal to try to give cap space for a new deal for Boldin.

If he can put together a full healthy season, Fitzgerald and Boldin might be a one-two combination for top fantasy wide receivers in the league. That’d be unprecedented and the closest we can ever think of that happening is back in the 1998 year of Randy Moss and Cris Carter. The Cardinals may keep preaching that they plan on running the football but they’re in poor shape to get that established. They let Edgerrin James and third down back of last year JJ Arrington go. Their decision was to go younger and give the reigns to last years rookie Tim Hightower and the drafting of another in Chris Wells. Hightower will have to show he can be a heavy load back, and Wells has already been hurt multiple times in training camp. The backfield is slim, with huge questions around durability and productivity. The spread it out air attack may be back bigger than ever in 2009.