Ravens making a run at Anquan Boldin

OWINGS MILLS -- With the Arizona Cardinals officially placing Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin on the trading block, the Baltimore Ravens have immediately emerged as a potential trade partner.

Although the Ravens are looking into the possibility of landing the big-play wideout, according to team officials, no deal appears to be imminent.

In a telephone interview with Ravens Insider on Thursday, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked if he had spoken to the Cardinals regarding Boldin.

"Over the past 48 hours, I've talked to eight different teams about several things," Newsome said.

The Ravens are among one of four teams, including the New York Jets, New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, that could be in the hunt for Boldin, per ESPN. A Palm Beach native, Boldin has previously said he wants to play for the Miami Dolphins.

The Ravens could use an impact player to complement veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason and work in tandem with second-year quarterback Joe Flacco.

There are no guarantees that the Ravens will be able to acquire a proven wide receiver with the 26th overall pick of the first round, certainly not someone as polished as Boldin.

Still, there are some fairly significant obstacles to pulling off a blockbuster deal like this one.

First, the Cardinals are probably going to want a first-round pick and a third-round pick in exchange for Boldin.

The Ravens have been reluctant to part ways with a first-round draft pick ever since trading their 2004 first-round selection to the New England Patriots in 2003 to acquire quarterback Kyle Boller.

Also, Boldin is extremely unhappy with his current six-year, $33.9 million contract that he signed in 2005.

Under contract for two more years, he has repeatedly tried to lobby the Cardinals for a new deal. Boldin's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined to comment in an e-mail Thursday.

During an appearance Thursday on Michael Irvin's radio show in Dallas, Boldin said he's open to any trade, especially to the Eagles or Giants.

"I just want to get it resolved, it's been going on way too long," Boldin said. "It would hurt but, at the same time, change is necessary. My only problem has been management, always has been."

Any team that trades for Boldin will also likely want to sign him to a new contract, and that is expected to be an extremely expensive endeavor. The Ravens don't have much salary-cap room available.

Boldin is due a $2.75 million base salary in 2009 and $3 million in 2010, according to NFL Players Association records.

Boldin, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

The former Florida State star registered 89 receptions for 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and has caught 502 career passes for 6,496 yards and 40 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

At 6-foot-1, 217 pounds, Boldin is regarded as extremely physical and difficult to tackle after the catch and has enough speed and quickness to separate from cornerbacks.

It's not a lock, though, that the Cardinals will necessarily trade Boldin. However, they acknowledged Wednesday that he is available for the right price.

"I think it would be foolish from our standpoint not to listen to those opportunities and see what actually exists," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said during a press conference in Arizona. "Our position on Anquan has been consistent and our goal hasn't changed. Reaching an agreement on a new contract has been, and continues to be, the preferred result. That hasn't changed. There are other options. Those do include fielding offers about a trade."

Whisenhunt said that a few teams have made inquiries about Boldin.

"I think the fact that we're coming out and acknowledging we're willing to listen does not mean we haven't listened in the past," Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said Wednesday. "In my opinion, it's not a change in position, just the fact that we're acknowledging publicly that we are evaluating those interests."

NOTES: Oklahoma offensive tackle Phil Loadholt completed his visit to the Ravens' training complex.

"It went great," Loadholt said in a telephone interview after returning to his Colorado home. "I felt a very good vibe and strong interest from the team. It felt like it was a place I would love to play at with such a great atmosphere Their facility is amazing.

"I met John Harbaugh and we talked for a long time. The Ravens said they like my film, they said they like the way I play, the way I finish blocks. They told me some things I can work on, too, but it's all correctable." ...

Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis, a first-round prospect and the younger brother of San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, visited the Ravens on Thursday. ...

Due to a scheduling conflict, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco isn't going to travel to the University of North Carolina today to throw to Tar Heels wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and tight end Richard Quinn. Flacco was originally set to attend the workout.

The Ravens are sending a delegation of team officials to Chapel Hill, N.C., to conduct a private workout.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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