Unable to resolve a contract dispute with veteran wide receiver
Talks between Boldin and the Ravens hit an impasse late last week after the
With Boldin declining the Ravens' request to lower his salary, the Ravens sent him to a 49ers team coached by
Boldin is currently out of the country, arriving in Senegal on Monday for a three-day relief effort. In order to finalize the deal, Boldin will have to pass a physical when he returns.
Boldin's pending departure sparked strong emotions of surprise and disappointment from his Ravens teammates, who watched the veteran grab six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to defeat the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
“It's definitely shock,” said Ravens starting wide receiver
“It’s tough for everyone, not just myself. Obviously, it will probably mean a little more responsibility, but I had that last year and the year before that. It’s going to be hard. The biggest thing is not so much about football when you lose someone like that, a mentor, a big brother, somebody you love like a brother and would do anything for you.”
Without Boldin, 32, more responsibility will shift to Smith, a former University of Maryland standout who caught 49 passes for 855 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
The Ravens also are expected to try to bolster the receiver position through free agency and the
However, there are few players in Boldin's class in terms of hands, strength and toughness.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder consistently outmuscled defensive backs, utilizing his body to box them out for 65 receptions, 921 yards and four touchdowns last season.
“Anquan was a big part of this football team, a big part of this offense, and one of the many reasons why we won the Super Bowl this year,” said quarterback
“It’s just the nature of the business. It almost becomes just one of those things that you got to react to and take in stride. We just got to put some faith in our young guys and hope that they step up to the table and play the way they’re capable of playing.”
Now, his offensive role is expected to increase. And the Dancing with the Stars contestant plans on applying the lessons Boldin taught him.
“We learned a lot of routes from him, how he thinks, what he sees,” Jones said. “He passed that on to us, and he did what he had to do. It's a business, man. These things are going to happen.
“I wish Q the best. He's always a Raven with me. We got something that you can never take from us, so I wish him the best.”
Several members of the Ravens gathered on Monday night to watch the 75-minute film featuring game action and interviews from their championship season capped by a 34-31 win over the 49ers at the
Many of the highlights were provided by Boldin, who's now leaving the roster three years after he was traded to the Ravens from the Arizona Cardinals.
Boldin caught a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of the Super Bowl to open the scoring, also hauling in a pivotal 15-yard catch in the fourth quarter to convert a 3rd-and-1 situation while being guarded by cornerback
"Do we even win the game without him?" Ravens reserve linebacker
Not long after Super Bowl XLVII, Boldin told NBC Sports that he would rather retire than play for any other NFL team. Now, the former Florida State standout heads back to the
Boldin has traditionally thrived against the 49ers. In 15 career games against them, including the Super Bowl, the Pahokee, Fla., native has caught 90 passes for 1,157 yards and eight touchdowns.
"Anquan is a great role model," Smith said. "Overall, he's a great guy, a great mentor. He's someone that I have a lot of respect for, look up to. I love him like a brother. It's going to be tough to see him go over there."