Now that the Jacksonville Jaguars have released Bryan Walters and missed out on signing Victor Cruz, will the team pursue another pass catcher? If the Jaguars do, who becomes the veteran target? The news on Friday evening of the Kansas City Chiefs releasing Jeremy Maclin, another solid player is on the free agent market.
A story this week on Yahoo Sports suggests the Jaguars look to Anquan Boldin as a potential addition to an already solid unit.
As Myles Stedman of Cover 32 wrote, “Just last week, former New York Giants star Victor Cruz signed with the Chicago Bears, after visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars the week prior. The meeting in Jacksonville clearly did not work out, for one reason or another, but the team is clearly looking for a veteran to fill out that third or fourth receiver slot on their roster. Although Cruz is a former Tom Coughlin man, the Jags were looking in the wrong place anyway. They should be looking at 36-year-old wide out Anquan Boldin.
“I know you may be thinking that this is odd logic. Boldin is a full six years older than Cruz, much closer to retirement and averaged similar numbers last season. Last year, Cruz had 39 receptions for 586 yards, for 15 yards per reception. Boldin caught 67 balls for 584 yards, for 8.7 yards per reception. Both played third fiddle in their teams’ receiving corps.”
It's a theory that does make sense. The Jaguars’ receivers are young, with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee each possessing the ability to stretch the field. Add third year wideout Rashad Greene as a possession receiver and kick returner, Arrelious Benn as a special teams ace and rookie Dede Westbrook as a game breaker and one might think this is the best corps in the NFL.
The one thing Jacksonville is missing is a veteran on the field and in the locker room. That’s where Boldin comes in.
If Boldin can give this team the same production as he did last season, and can mentor Robinson, Hurns, et all, his signing will be worth more than the money this team gives to him this coming season.
“Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin has been incredibly durable, playing 14 professional seasons, playing 10 games once, 12 games 12 games twice, 14 games three times, 15 games twice and 16 games six times. Those are incredible numbers, and they can not only attributed to Boldins’ toughness, but also his rock solid skill set, that has been unwavering over his time as an NFL receiver,” Stedman added.
Now that quarterback Blake Bortles can breathe a sigh of relief now that the team has picked up his fifth-year option, look for the team to give him the best chance to correct his throwing motion and the nagging errors on the field. A veteran receiver can act as a security blanket. While Maclin may have more upside for the future, Boldin offers the most opportunities to help this organization on and off the field.