In the aftermath of his eight-catch, 132-yard performance in the Ravens’ 29-14 win against the Houston Texans, Anquan Boldin said he felt no pressure to lead a wide receiving corps missing Lee Evans for the third consecutive game.

But with rookies Torrey Smith, LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss dotting the roster, Boldin is the only healthy veteran among the wide receivers. (David Reed is a second-year player, but he has yet to catch a pass.)

Boldin’s status among his younger teammates was cemented when the organization parted ways with wide receiver Derrick Mason and tight end Todd Heap. And on Monday, coach John Harbaugh confirmed that the club’s decision to refrain from retaining Mason and Heap in the offseason was based, in part, on Boldin’s presence.

“Yeah, I think having Anquan was something that gave us a chance to let some of the guys, you know, Derrick and Todd [go],” Harbaugh said. “Because you knew you had Anquan there with the young guys and Anquan being that kind of go-to guy that [quarterback] Joe [Flacco] could have this year and try to make sure that those guys kind of develop that relationship, and I think you’ll see it growing. It was there early last year, and it’s something we need to keep building.”