The Ravens made a big play today, as reported by our own Aaron Wilson, when they acquired WR Anquan Boldin by giving up a third and fourth round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
But, just how big of a move was it for Baltimore?
The Ravens are built up front with a young offensive line and the downhill running style of Ray Rice. That is where they make their money, but with Boldin now in the mix, Baltimore has the type of receiver who can win across the middle of the field, and more importantly, is a game plan nightmare for opposing defenses because of what he can do in the open field after the catch.
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will be able to alter his game plans this fall, and with the running game that the Ravens have already established, there will be opportunities for Boldin to make plays in this system. A player who has caught 70-plus passes in six of seven seasons as a Cardinal and has register 44 career TD receptions.
Boldin isn’t the type of receiver who is going to stretch the field vertically outside of the numbers like his now former teammate Larry Fitzgerald or a Randy Moss of the Patriots, but he plays the game like a running back once he can gain leverage on defenders. Boldin can separate in anything from the 3-step passing game to route combinations that get him matched up between the hashes.
Not to mention the fact that Boldin plays the wide receiver position with a style that is conducive to winning football games in the AFC North. He is the type of player you want in your huddle and a new, veteran leader for an offense and QB, in Flacco, who needs that playmaker to aid in his development.
Yes, there is always risk when you hand out a 4-year deal that totals $28-million–with $10-million in guarantees and $25-million in new money–but if you don’t take that risk, how does this offense take that next step?
Boldin’s age (he will be 30 this season) and his injury past had to weigh on the minds of Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh in Baltimore, but when you see a player who is as dynamic as Boldin is at WR, know the results he will provide and want to make a push in the post-season, you make that deal.
Just like the Ravens did today.
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