Boldin's Status in Arizona Still Uncertain

After vowing to never return to the Arizona Cardinals, WR Anquan Boldin has retracted those sentiments this offseason and is now hopeful to reach a new agreement. Drew Rosenhaus recently met with the Cardinals' front office, but Boldin's status for next season is still uncertain. Brad Wilbricht sheds light on the current situation and outlines what could be in store for the future.

Since his arrival in Arizona, WR Anquan Boldin has been an integral part of the Cardinals' offense. Along with wideout Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin is part of arguably the best wide receiving tandem in the NFL. Boldin's chemistry with QB Kurt Warner is uncanny and Warner's return to Arizona certainly increased Boldin's desire to remain with the Cardinals.

Boldin was grossly underrated following his college career and slipped into the second round of the 2003 draft. Arizona selected the former Florida St star with the 54th overall selection. After drastically outplaying his sound-round draft status, Boldin was rewarded with a new contract following a tremendous start in the professional ranks.

In all, Boldin has racked up 502 receptions for 6,496 yards and 40 touchdowns during his six-year NFL career. He's compiled 100-plus catches twice and has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on four different occasions. The one knock on Boldin up to this point in his career has been his inability to stay healthy. He's managed to play a full 16-game season only twice and has missed 16 career games due to injury.

After being signed to a four-year contract worth $22.75 million in 2005, Boldin again finds himself requesting a new deal. Prior to the 2008 season, Fitzgerald was rewarded with a four-year $40 million contract and Boldin was next in line with hopes of cashing in.

Karlos Dansby

Although Boldin's agent Drew Rosenhaus recently met with the Cardinals' front office, the issue still may not be a top priority for Arizona. GM Rod Graves has stated several times that locking up LB Karlos Dansby is currently the team's primary focus. In addition, SS Adrian Wilson is rumored to be in line for a new contract before Boldin's situation is ready to be addressed.

While Boldin has retracted last year's comments regarding his future in the desert, it's still uncertain how he'll react if his demands are not met. The Cardinals have vowed to revaluate Boldin's contract as soon as possible, but it will require patience from both Boldin and Rosenhaus.

If Arizona decides to move Boldin, it will prove to be a costly investment for a prospective team. The Cardinals won't let the three-time Pro Bowler go easily, likely requiring a first-round draft pick and a second or third round selection in return. With Arizona's roster in fairly good shape entering 2009, the chances of Boldin being traded for anything but draft picks is doubtful.

There's no question the Cardinals are committed to Boldin and believe he's one of the organization's core players. If Boldin can wait while other contract issues are tackled, he'll undoubtedly be rewarded for his performance on the field. If he's not, it could damage his relationship with management beyond repair and will all but force the Cardinals to initiate a trade.

Boldin's career began in Arizona and with the offense the Cardinals have assembled, he'd be smart to remain in the desert. Boldin has a future Hall of Fame quarterback under center and a rising star across from him at receiver. There's no better situation around than where he currently resides in Arizona.

Teams would be lining up to acquire the services of Boldin and the Cardinals know how lucky they are to deploy a tough receiver with his abilities. Assuming Arizona comes to terms with Dansby and Wilson in the near future, Boldin will be taken care of and continue to thrive in the Cardinals' explosive offensive attack.

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