Boldin vs. Dockett: Who's More Valuable?

Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett are integral parts of the Arizona Cardinals but both are currently requesting new contracts. While Arizona would prefer not to lose either player, the Cardinals' front office refuses to give in to the demands and remains committed to more important tasks at hand. With the futures of Boldin and Dockett uncertain, Brad Wilbricht dissects who's more valuable.

Ironically, WR Anquan Boldin and DT Darnell Dockett have traveled very similar paths up to this point in their careers. Both players attended Florida State, were selected outside of the first round, and severely outplayed their rookie contracts. Boldin and Dockett each received restructured deals to reflect their market value at the time but once again are knocking on GM Rod Graves' door again demanding more. Furthermore, up until earlier this week both shared the same agent in Drew Rosenhaus.

Boldin, a former second-round draft pick in 2003, has already reached the Pro Bowl on three occasions and alongside wideout Larry Fitzgerald is part of arguably the top wide receiving tandem in the league. Boldin has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in four of his six NFL seasons and has compiled 502 catches for 6,496 yards during his career. Boldin has knack for finding the end zone scoring 40 times and is known for his tremendous downfield blocking ability.

Darnell Dockett

Meanwhile, Dockett was selected in the third round of the 2004 draft and has developed into a versatile weapon along the defensive line. Dockett hasn't missed a game in his five-year career, racking up 225 tackles and 19 sacks in the process. Dockett exhibits a non-stop motor on the field and is a highly disruptive player in the backfield. He reached the Pro Bowl in 2007 and was a major reason for the Cardinals' new found defensive success during last year's Super Bowl run.

While Boldin's impact in Arizona can't be understated, the Cardinals' depth chart is loaded with talent on the perimeter. Fitzgerald is one of the elite wide receivers in the game while Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban are proven backups looking for a chance to crack the starting lineup. Additionally, second-year WR Early Doucet is expected to progress into a reliable threat over the middle and would also help fill the void if Boldin isn't with the team in 2009.

Arizona has done an excellent job securing young talent in the trenches but Dockett is by far the most resourceful player on the defensive line. The Cardinals have been utilizing a hybrid approach on defense, incorporating tactics from the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. Although Bill Davis takes over at defensive coordinator, Arizona's aggressive style will remain. Dockett's versatility makes him a perfect fit for the Cardinals and his ability to be used in several different formations is invaluable.

Ultimately, Arizona is hopeful both Boldin and Dockett are in the desert for the upcoming season. However, if forced to pick just one player it could very well be Dockett. With Fitzgerald locked up for the immediate future and a handful of other talented wide receivers on the roster, Boldin would be easier to replace at the current time. The Cardinals' defense revolves around Dockett's disruptiveness upfront and that's something the team can't afford to lose.

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