Get ready for the Anquan Boldin sweepstakes to begin as soon as the Cardinals bow out of the playoffs.
Boldin has missed time each of the past three seasons and the Cardinals offense hasn’t missed a beat without him. However, their lack of a need for Boldin has never been more apparent than on Sunday against the Packers.
Obviously Larry Fitzgerald is THE guy in Arizona. But Steve Breaston and Early Doucet are more than capable of filling the void should the Cards part ways with Boldin. Breaston (7 rec, 125 yds) and Doucet (6 rec, 77 yds) played key roles in the Cardinals picking apart a very solid Packers defense. Breaston would likely be the guy to step up as the primary replacement for Boldin, with Doucet taking over as the No. 3 guy. Both are capable of putting up big numbers in Arizona’s offense.
So where will Boldin end up? Here’s a few possibilities:
Bears – The Bears thought they solved their QB woes by acquiring Jay Cutler, but failed to address the receiving corps last offseason. There isn’t a receiver on the Bears roster worthy of be a starter in this league. Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, etc are No. 3 receivers at best. Boldin would give Cutler a legitimate No. 1 receiver to work with, much like Brandon Marshall who he worked well with in Denver.
Ravens - Joe Flacco has done an admirable job putting up impressive numbers in his 1st and 2nd year despite working with one of the league’s worst receiving corps. The Ravens have five receivers who are free agents this offseason, with only Justin Harper under contract for 2010. Expect some serious turnover in Baltimore this offseason.
Dolphins – The Dolphins are much like the Bears – they have a number of decent receivers but lack a true No. 1 or even a No. 2 receiver. This could be Boldin’s desired destination (he’s from Florida and went to Florida State) but Bill Parcells is unlikely to offer a 1st-round pick for a receiver, which will likely be the Cardinals asking price.
Bucs – The location factor could certainly play a role in Boldin’s desire to play for the Bucs. Additionally, Antonio Bryant (unrestricted) and Maurice Stovall (restricted) are both free agents this offseason.
Cowboys – OK, so they don’t need Boldin, but would it really shock you if Jerry Jones gave up his 1st-round pick for another receiver? Roy Williams has been a disappointment and even in Dallas, there has to be some doubt as to whether or not Miles Austin can match his 2009 season.