Should the Cardinals trade Anquan Boldin?

If beat writer Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic is right when he says that the Cardinals will try to shop receiver Anquan Boldin this offseason, then the team would be making a wise decision.

Boldin is a quality playmaker with excellent size, good speed and solid hands. But talent isn’t something the Cardinals are desperate for at the wideout position. They have plenty of youth and depth at receiver with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, which makes Boldin expendable.

Boldin will be 30 in early October and is set to make $3 million in his final year. Mind you, that’s not a ton of money to pay a receiver of his caliber, but if he reaches free agency after the 2010 season then Arizona will get nothing for him in return. If they trade him now, they might be able to get a third round pick and another player, which was what teams were offering last offseason.

A trade makes even more sense if Kurt Warner retires this offseason. When Matt Leinart takes over under center, the Cardinals will switch from an offense that attacks opponents through the air to one that tries to beat teams on the ground. The focus will come off the quarterback and receivers and onto young running back Beanie Wells.

If Warner does hang ’em up, then Arizona won’t have much need to have four starting-caliber receivers on its roster. Fitzgerald, Breaston and Doucet would be more than enough at the receiver position and if they can acquire a draft pick for Boldin, then they could concentrate on acquiring more talent on defense.

That said, I wouldn’t blame the Cardinals if they retained Boldin if Warner decides to play one more year. They could keep the same offense intact and led by the best receiving corps in the league, try to make another run at a Super Bowl. But in that scenario, they still forfeit the opportunity to acquire some form of compensation before Boldin walks at the end of the year.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what Warner decides and what teams would be offering for Boldin. Either way, the Cardinals will be faced with an interesting dilemma this offseason.

Assuming they can get fair compensation, should the Cardinals try to trade Boldin?
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