Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Boldin, Cardinals salvaged a bad situation
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens each have four players with Super Bowl experience.
The 49ers' Clark Haggans and the Ravens' Anquan Boldin got that experience with the Arizona Cardinals following the 2008 season.
Boldin, 32, appears primed to play an important role in the Ravens-49ers outcome Feb. 3 in New Orleans. Though his 113-game receiving streak ended in Week 15, Boldin leads the league in receiving yards (276), receiving touchdowns (three), and receiving first downs (14) during this postseason.
Boldin and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco are on a hot streak of late. They have connected for touchdowns on all three attempts when Flacco targeted Boldin in the end zone. The rate was 3 of 10 during the regular season (and 10 of 28 when Flacco targeted other players there).
The Cardinals ideally would have kept Boldin in 2010, but the relationship between player and organization had become strained. Arizona had committed big money to Larry Fitzgerald. Boldin was getting older and had some injury concerns. The Cardinals weren't going to pay him what he wanted, and so they traded him to Baltimore.
Arizona sent Boldin and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore for third- and fourth-round choices. The Ravens used that fifth-rounder for Arthur Jones, who started six games and had 4.5 sacks this season. The Cardinals used one pick from Baltimore for receiver Andre Roberts. They also drafted starting outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield and cornerback Jorrick Calvin, a player the Cardinals traded to Philadelphia.
Roberts has produced nearly as well as Boldin has produced despite a far less favorable quarterback situation. The first chart breaks down their numbers for the 2011 season. The chart below shows Boldin's career postseason production. He missed two playoff games with Arizona following the 2009 season.