Getting third- and fourth-round choices from Baltimore for Anquan Boldin and a fifth-round choice affirms Arizona's inability to get a second-round choice for the former Pro Bowl receiver. I don't blame the Ravens for holding firm on price.
In the end, Arizona decided to get something for Boldin before it was too late. Boldin's contract expires after the upcoming season. The Cardinals weren't going to satisfy him with a lucrative extension. Franchising Boldin after the upcoming season might have created an untenable situation, and the value might not have been there, anyway. Trading Boldin probably seemed more favorable than keeping Boldin around against his will.
Arizona basically traded one season of Boldin and a fifth-round choice for third- and fourth-round picks. The Ravens got multiple years of Boldin in return, signing him to an extension (something that never seemed attainable in Arizona).
Boldin might have helped facilitate this trade by generally keeping a low profile during the past season. He wanted a trade. The Cardinals knew he wanted a trade. There was no sense in acting like a malcontent. Attempting to bully Arizona might not have produced the desired result.
Boldin's departure drives home just how different the Cardinals will be in 2010. This team was already in transition once Kurt Warner retired. Boldin's departure continues the makeover. And yet the Cardinals have prepared for this moment by developing Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, just as they developed Calais Campbell to replace Antonio Smith. That is what teams are supposed to do.