Once All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski went down after re-injuring his broken arm against the Houston Texans in NFL playoffs, the New England Patriots’ receiving corps wasn’t the same heading into the showdown with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game. Gronkowski has been the team’s best threat in the end zone and Tom Brady’s go-to receiver in the offense over the past two seasons along with veteran Wes Welker.
Although Gronkowski’s production on the field for the Patriots has made huge impact for the offense, New England has been missing the downfield threat in the passing since the departure of veteran wideout Randy Moss a few years ago. The Patriots have been unable to replace Moss downfield despite the attempts to do so with Chad Ochocinco last season and Brandon Lloyd in 2012.
Fortunately, New England may have an intriguing option at the wide receiver position next month with Anquan Boldin of the Super Bowl champion potentially being released according to Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com:
One name to keep in mind is Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, even though he isn’t a free agent at this time. ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently said on “NFL Live” that Boldin is a potential cap casualty for the Ravens, who are looking to keep funds open to pay quarterback Joe Flacco.
Even though Boldin would potentially be a perfect fit for the Patriots, the veteran receiver has let it be known that if the Ravens ultimately release him that he’ll retire. Boldin has no intention of playing for another team and would apparently rather call it career.
Boldin may have said that he’ll retire after his 10th season rather than signing with another team, but that stance may very well change over the course of the next few months with a different perspective if the Ravens do end up releasing him. Until Baltimore makes a decision on Boldin, the speculation will continue concerning his future.