As of now, Boldin has pledge to not to re-sign with the Cardinals. He instructed his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to cut-off all communication with the organization regarding a new contract. However, we've seen players quickly change there mind with millions of dollars dangling in the balance.
Chicago Bears LB Lance Briggs, who is also represented by Rosenhaus, was determined not to re-sign with the team after they placed the franchise tag on him prior to the 2007 season. After Chicago offered him a six-year $36 million deal last March, Briggs quickly reconsidered and accepted.
Although Boldin put a halt to all negotiations, he did state that he'll play out the remainder of his contract in Arizona. If he stays true to his word, he'll be in the desert at least through the 2011 season. However, if his contract status begins to affect his on-field performance, the Cardinals will need to immediately address the situation.
While Boldin's main frustrations stem from the Cardinals front office promising him a new deal prior to this season, the impact of Fitzgerald's contract certainly has helped stir the pot. Fitzgerald's new deal guarantees him $30 million over the next three seasons. Boldin will be looking for a similar contract, including a comparable amount of guaranteed money.
WR Early Doucet
Rookie WR Early Doucet has been extremely impressive during minicamp and hopes to continue building momentum throughout the preseason. Doucet may develop into a younger and much cheaper version of Boldin. If the Cardinals coaching staff likes what they see from the former LSU standout this year, their worries of losing Boldin down the road may diminish.
If Doucet is unable to lock down the third wide receiver spot, second-year WR Steve Breaston will likely be the one to beat him out. Breaston was a stand-out return man during his rookie season but has advanced his skills as a wide receiver this offseason. His performance during minicamp and OTA's was a pleasant surprise.
While the Cardinals will do everything in their power to avoid a dreadful outcome with Boldin, the two may be headed towards a messy divorce. Boldin has been a constant fixture since arriving in Arizona and the team's front office has promised to take care of him when the time is right.
However, if the two parties can not reach an agreement and Boldin bolts to a new team, a contingency plan is now in place. Like any successful organization, the Cardinals have positioned themselves to withstand Boldin's defection and will be hopeful not to miss a beat.
Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org