Should the Ravens opt to cut veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, which isn't necessarily the Super Bowl champions' intention despite a $6 million base salary and a $7.531 million salary-cap figure, then Boldin insists he'll retire.
Boldin, 32, told Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports that he doesn't want to play for another team.
"Baltimore is the only place I want to play," Boldin said in an interview set to air at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. "It’s the last place that I will play. For me, I’ll retire a Raven, I’m not putting on any other uniform. .. We have a saying, once a Raven, always a Raven, and I’ll always be a Raven.”
Of course, the Ravens could retain Boldin at his current salary or do a salary-cap friendly extension as they did last spring with strong safety Bernard Pollard that would lower his cap figure for 2013 by converting his salary into a bonus and prorating the bonus over a few seasons. The Ravens have yet to broach that possibility with Boldin, according to league sources, but it's regarded as an option the team is interested in exploring.
With Boldin, it's a complicated situation.
Yes, he's up in years for a receiver, but he's vital to the Ravens' offense and caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown during a Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers.
"He's just a huge playmaker," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "He's one of those guys that, without question, you have to find ways to get him the ball. He's going to make some things happen. In extremely tough situations, he plays big."
After catching 65 passes for 921 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season, Boldin hauled in 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs, as he averaged 17.3 yards per reception.
His catches and receiving yards were both Ravens single-season playoff records.
The yardage ranks Boldin seventh in NFL playoff history behind Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Rice, Steve Smith, Charlie Brown and Anthony Carter.
And his catches tied him for sixth in NFL playoff history with Joseph Addai, Tony Nathan and Dan Ross.
"Tough, physical, unselfish, Anquan is a warrior," Ravens receivers coach Jim Hostler said. "He's a football player. He embodies what this team is all about."
Boldin doesn't really care about his statistics, though.
“Everything that you do, everything that you work for is to get to this moment, to get to this point,” Boldin said. “Over my career, this has been what it’s all about. The personal accolades doesn’t mean much to me.
"The money doesn’t mean that much. Winning the Super Bowl, this is why I play. This is why I play through injuries. This is what I get up early in the morning to work out. All for this moment right here.”
So, will Boldin return?
"You never know because it always changes," Hostler said of the receiving corps. "We'll see what happens. We love these guys right now. They're warriors. I wouldn't want to be with anybody else right now."
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