Anquan Boldin that is……oh yeah, the Arizona Cardinals other prolific 2 time pro bowl receiver who holds 3 NFL records in just his first 5 seasons in the NFL. Yeah, that guy.
Well after Larry Fitzgerald signed his monster contract on Tuesday, with over $33 million in guaranteed money, immediately people started wondering about Q and what it meant for him. Basically it means that the Cards are going to be faced with the same problems in two years, when Boldin will be 29 years old (and most likely have been to another pro bowl, which would make 3 for his career) and ready to get a big time payday. Boldin is only set to make between $2.5 and $3 million during each of the next two seasons, and you have to believe he is going to attract major attention if he were to hit the free agent market.
No matter what team he plays for, Boldin is the kind of high character, team-first player that elevates the abilities of those around him on the field. His enthusiasm for the game is infectious and his playmaking ability rivals anyone else in the league.
I think Cards QB Matt Leinart said it best when he was a guest commentator on NFL Total Access this week, “When Anquan gets in the open field, I mean, nobody wants to tackle him.” Truer words have never been spoken. So we know all about Q’s status as a player and his impact on the game, but what does all of this mean for the Cardinals?
It means that sometime in the next two years remaining on Boldin’s contract, he is going to want a blockbuster deal. He will be looking for some financial security heading into the latter part of his career, maybe a 6 year deal with somewhere in the neighborhood of $38+ million guaranteed. Is he worth it? Absolutely. Will it happen?…….I don’t know. You also have to remember that Leinart will also be nearing the end of his rookie contract right around the same time, although he still has to prove himself.
Cards GM Rod Graves along with head coach Ken Whisenhunt have stated several times that their goal is to keep those core players in place, and to do that they are going to have to lock up Boldin for the rest of his career. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Fitzgerald is one of those integral cogs in the Big Red Machine too, but Q is the center piece of this team. He is the hearbeat, the energy that drives it.
The team will hopefully learn its lesson from the Fitzgerald hostage situation and realize that you can’t wait until one of your premier guys (who has already proven himself) has his best season to date to try and renegotiate his contract. They need to start talking to Boldin’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, now.
Hey Bidwell’s, you serious about winning? Prove it……get Anquan signed and give him his payday and keep this team together!