In their offseason of critical reinforcements, the Ravens could be about to strike again. If GM Ozzie Newsome can pry Anquan Boldin loose from the Cardinals, as he is attempting to do, the Ravens will have upgraded their passing game in a major way.
Boldin is the best of the veteran wide receivers on the trade market right now, a market that includes Cleveland's Braylon Edwards and perhaps Cincinnati's Chad (nee Johnson) Ocho Cinco. At 6 feet 1 and 217 pounds, Boldin is a physical, punishing receiver who gets yards after the catch.
He isn't the speed merchant who will stretch the field for Joe Flacco, except when he turns the 10-yard slant into a 70-yard touchdown. But he is a threat anywhere on the field, and he would have a big-time effect on the offense, especially in the red zone. Last season in Arizona, Boldin had 11 touchdowns -- and 89 catches -- in 12 games.
Entering his seventh season, the 28-year-old Boldin has been nagged by injuries. He has missed the equivalent of one full season -- 16 games -- in six years.
According to Sun reporter Jamison Hensley, who broke the story, the Ravens are willing to pay first- and third-round picks for Boldin. Then they'll have to re-do his contract; that, after all, is the reason he's forcing his way out of Arizona.
And there will be competition. Several teams have receiver as a priority in this month's college draft. The Eagles, with picks 21 and 28, have the ammunition to make a deal for Boldin. The Giants, sitting at 29, are already reportedly talking to the Browns about Edwards.
The Cardinals are likely to dangle Boldin all next week, raising the ante with each conversation. Newsome can hang with the big boys in those talks, though. The question is how far he's willing to go. Getting Boldin would allow Newsome to truly grab the best available player, satisfying the team's biggest need.