The Baltimore Ravens, long known for its tenacious, suffocating defense, finally got enough support from its offense to make a successful run at a Super Bowl title.
Now, after the organization made Joe Flacco the wealthiest man in NFL history, the Ravens’ quarterback wants to see his star receiver, Anquan Boldin, back for another year.
“Without him, we don’t win the Super Bowl. He’s a huge part of this team and someone I want to see back,” Flacco told USA TODAY Sports. “Obviously, when you’re a player of his caliber, you believe you’re worth a number and that’s what you should get. He’s going to stick to his guns, and that’s the way it should be.”
That is easy to say when you’re the star quarterback. In Flacco’s case, the team had virtually no problem forking over $20.1 million annually to keep him and his right arm in Baltimore.
However, Boldin is a 32-year old wideout set to make $7.531 million in 2013. That being said, Boldin hauled in 65 passes for 921 yards last season and had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the 34-31 Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. There is obvious chemistry between passer and receiver. Flacco understands that if his offense is going to continue to build and compete at the same level of the Ravens’ defense, he needs the type of consistency Boldin brings to the table.
“He was really important down the stretch,” Flacco said. “He’s a guy who knows what he’s doing. He’s done it over and over again in this league. We just really started to hit it and really attack.”
Boldin had originally stated that he was not going to take a pay cut ‘as a matter of principle’. In a league where the average player’s career lasts three years or less and where teams can cut a player without so much as a dollar in severance, Flacco understands the bottom line-aspect of Boldin’s situation.
“This league is about going out and performing and playing well and having fun doing so,” Flacco said. “But it’s also our livelihood and it’s about getting paid. So teams are going to let go of you as soon as they can. So when you’re playing, you have to make sure you can get as much money as you can because that’s what’s going to take care of your family down the road.”
Boldin is slated to hit unrestricted free agency should the Ravens cut him as a salary cap casualty. He has gone on record stating that he will retire should Baltimore not keep him aboard.
However, if Boldin decides to stick around, he could provide a number of other teams with the type of talent they need to make a Super Bowl push themselves.