During its epic 51-45 defeat against Green Bay last week, Arizona showed its offense can operate just fine without star wide receiver Anquan Boldin. That game, in fact, could be a foreshadowing of things to come.
Early Doucet was given opportunities at the latter end of the season, and shined with a 77-yard, two-touchdown performance against a formidable Packers defense last week. His status is certainly rising within the organization and around the league. Steve Breaston continues to prove that he is a playmaker in the NFL. And Larry Fitzgerald is Larry Fitzgerald—one of the best in the business.
With a year left on his contract after this season is over, Boldin could very easily get traded. There have been rumors in past years, and there certainly will be this offseason. There is the possibility, of course, that the club keeps him for another year. But what about a new contract?
If the Cardinals have not succumbed to Boldin’s wishes in recent years, there’s no reason to believe they will this offseason. In addition, Boldin is coming off a mediocre season according to his standards. Arizona has no obligation to pay their No. 2 receiver Fitzgerald-type money when he doesn’t produce as much and is routinely banged up. With that said, there is no denying Boldin’s playmaking ability when he is healthy.
Herein lies the beauty of the situation for the Cardinals. If they choose to part ways with Boldin, they will most certainly get something in return. Boldin’s status isn’t as high currently as it was maybe a year or two ago. Still, the Cardinals could at least get a second-round pick for him. If the Cardinals don’t see Boldin in their future plans, they ought to trade him and get something in return before he becomes a free agent.
The other option for the Cardinals is to keep Boldin. This wouldn’t be a bad alternative either because they could exploit his talents for a final season in 2010. With a franchise player like Fitzgerald, and two beckoning stars in Breaston and Doucet, Arizona’s receiving corps would still be among the top in the league.
The Cardinals are in win-win situation here, because they will have talent no matter what they do with Boldin. Their offense is experiencing the riches of drafting exceptional talent. Boldin may be the guy that is expendable when it comes down to it.
Boldin’s status is uncertain for Satuday’s game against the Saints. If he can’t go, and the Cardinals don’t pull off the upset, we may never see Boldin in a Cardinals uniform again.
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