Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald in August signed an eight-year, $120 million contract extension, one that has made him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. He's not very happy right now, though.
He misses Anquan Boldin.
Frustrated by Arizona’s 1-4 start, Fitzgerald vented to The Arizona Republic about the lack of a legitimate wingman to keep defenses honest, something Boldin was doing before the Ravens acquired him in 2010.
"Here's the one small thing that everyone forgets about when Kurt [Warner] was here," Fitzgerald said. "We had this other guy, what was his name? Oh, yeah. Anquan Boldin. I think he made a couple Pro Bowls or something. He was a decent player around these parts. I wasn't here by myself. I had some talented guys around me."
Without a “legitimate No. 2 wide receiver,” as Republic columnist Dan Bickley put it, Fitzgerald has 27 catches for 427 yards and two touchdowns in five games this season. He is 12th in the NFL in receiving yards, but he was used to putting up double-digit touchdown totals with Boldin and ex-Cardinal Steve Breaston flanking him.
You’ll never hear Boldin complain about it, but his production has understandably suffered without Fitzgerald, one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL, lining up on the other side of the formation. His 64 receptions and 837 receiving yards in 2010 were the lowest totals of his career since 2004, when he played in just 10 games. This season, Boldin is faring a little better with 23 catches and 354 receiving yards in five starts.
Here’s a solution, one that has probably been pitched on a Ravens message board somewhere: Trade Lee Evans for Fitzgerald! Maybe if the Cardinals are really desperate, they'll throw in a first-rounder in the deal, too!
Back to reality: Boldin’s numbers should improve once the Ravens offense gets in a groove.
Fitzgerald? He’s on his own out in the desert -- unless you count all those Benjamin Franklins.