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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Boldin says Cards lied about new contract, won't re-sign with them

Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A major storm hit the Arizona training camp one day before practice begins, when standout wide receiver Anquan Boldin lashed out at the Cardinals organization for failing to follow through on what he said was a promise for a new contract.

Anquan Boldin

Boldin

He said he had told his agent Drew Rosenhaus to end negotiations and that he would not re-sign with the team.

"Right now I don't want a deal," he said Thursday after the players went through a running drill. "You may think I'm funny or saying that just to say it, but for me, I'm tired of it. I washed my hands of the whole situation."

Boldin, a two-time Pro Bowl player and a team captain last season, said that he was promised a new contract before this season.

He has three years left on the four-year, $22.75 million contract extension he signed after the 2005 season that keeps him under contract through 2010. He's making an average of $4 million a year.

Arizona's other standout receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, signed a four-year $40 million, deal after last season, with $30 million guaranteed.

"It's not even about Larry's deal," Boldin said. "Larry earned everything he got. Honestly, he played his butt off. He deserved it." Boldin, considered the heart and soul of the Arizona offense for his rugged, intense play, was asked if he felt the Cardinals had lied to him.

"Pretty much," he said.

"I'm real disappointed that it came to this point," Boldin said, "but for the last five, going on six, years I've given everything I had to this organization, dedicated myself and went far beyond what I'm supposed to do on the field."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he understands Boldin's frustration but still hopes a deal can be worked out. The Cardinals have little room left under this year's salary cap.

Rosenhaus and Arizona general manager Rod Graves met Wednesday night, but the sides were not close to an agreement, Boldin said.

"We are sensitive to the fact that he wants a new contract," Whisenhunt said. "We tried to address it. The first chance we get we're going to continue to try to do that. Hopefully we'll go forward and everything will go smoothly."

Boldin denied reports that his agent had asked the Cardinals to trade him, but when he was asked if he would prefer a trade now, he said, "Honestly, I don't know right now. I can't answer that."

If he isn't traded, Boldin insisted he could put aside his anger toward the front office and play the game as he always has.

"I'm going to do everything my contract requires me to do," he said. "If I'm supposed to be here, I'll be here. I'll outwork anybody on this field. I'm going to show up and be on time. I mean, I'm going to perform like Anquan. I don't know another way."

Whisenhunt played down any impact of the disgruntled team leader letting his feelings be known the day before practice starts.

"I think the reason Anquan was a leader [last year] is because the way he plays, the way he works. I don't think that's going to change," Whisenhunt said. "When you talk about professionals, Anquan to me is one of the ultimate professionals. He's going to show up and give you everything he's got, and I don't see that changing."

A second-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2003, Boldin immediately established himself as one of the league's best. He is the fastest in NFL history to reach 400 career receptions, doing it in 67 games. In his five seasons, Boldin has 413 receptions for 5,458 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Asked why he should get a new deal two years after signing his old one, Boldin said, "because I've earned it."

"I think my numbers speak for themselves," he said. "Even they [the Cardinals] came out publicly and said that I outplayed my contract. I don't have to make a case to anybody why I'm deserving of a contract. That's self-explanatory."