Boldin still in Cardinals’ long-term future?

Cardinals’ GM Rod Graves says that he still views Anquan Boldin as a core player and would like to extend his contract.

Anquan BoldinAs reported by SI.com this week, the Cardinals would like to re-sign Boldin for less than the $10 million a year average they are paying Larry Fitzgerald. The team wants to stay in the $7 million to $9 million range, depending on how the contract is structured.

After the Super Bowl, Boldin backed away from a vow to never re-sign with the team, which the club viewed as a positive sign.

For now, the Cardinals are maintaining their stance of not trading Boldin, but that could change if talks with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, go nowhere over the next month.

“We still recognize him (Boldin) as a core player and one that we would like to extend,” General Manager Rod Graves said, “but I think we have to remain open at all times to possibilities. To this point, we have not made any considerations for a trade, and we’re focused primarily on trying to make this relationship beneficial for our team.”

Rosenhaus declined to comment on the negotiations but did say that he and Boldin recently had positive talks with the Cardinals.

This situation seems to be changing week by week. First it looked like there would be no hope of Boldin staying in Arizona, now it looks like there’s no way the Cards will trade him. Either Boldin was told to play along so the Cards will have an easier time trying to find a trade partner, or his stance really has changed and he wants to remain in ‘Zona.

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Anquan Boldin having a change of heart?

Anquan BoldinAccording to Rotoworld.com (via ProFootballTalk), Anquan Boldin is willing to stay in Arizona for the right price.

Teammate Larry Fitzgerald owns the market with a four-year $40M deal, and Boldin probably won’t settle for much less. The Cards are eying deals with free agent Kurt Warner and franchise player Karlos Dansby. Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson also want raises, so it’s unclear if the club can fit Boldin in. Still, Boldin’s about-face shows that Arizona holds all the cards.

I would take this rumor with a grain of salt because ProFootballTalk can be hit and miss with its reports. Everything comes from unnamed “league sources.”

But let’s play along anyway.

Boldin could have realized that the Cardinals had no trade leverage if he continued to squawk about how the situation was irreparable in Arizona. So he decides to play it cool and maybe both he and the team can get what they want in the end.

Or maybe he really is willing to return to the dessert at the right price. Either way, this situation is only starting to get interesting.

Boldin to agent: Don’t accept any contract offer from the Cardinals

Disgruntled wide receiver Anquan Boldin reportedly told his agent Drew Rosenhaus not to accept any contract offer the Cardinals make him this offseason.

Anquan BoldinAfter watching Anquan Boldin talk at the Pro Bowl yesterday, it sounded like he wasn’t quite as steadfast in his thoughts he didn’t want to be in Arizona. Apparently, I was wrong, and Q was just doing it for the cameras. Because XTRA’s Mike Jurecki, who said he talked to Boldin over the weekend, said Boldin instructed his agent to tell the Cards he would not sign any new contract (the Cards are expected to still make a new proposal) and that he wants to be traded.

I guess it really shouldn’t be a shock. Agent Drew Rosenhaus was spotted outside the team’s Tempe facility today so I would guess he relayed a handful of news to the team. Profootballtalk.com already reported the team was told Edgerrin James — another Rosenhaus client — was asking to be released ASAP. Oh, and Rosenhaus also represents Darnell Dockett, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Darnell’s contract status was brought up.

But it is the Boldin situation that will be front and center. Again, he is under contract for two more years, so if he declines to sign any new deal, the Cards could just hang on to him and not trade him. Boldin’s only recourse will be to disappear for the entirety of the offseason — not a great deal with a new offensive coordinator coming in. We’ll see how it develops.

Here’s what would be smart. Boldin wants out and it doesn’t look like the Cards can do anything about it. So Arizona needs to go to Boldin, tell him to shut his mouth and play along until they can deal him. He’s not doing the team or himself any favors by repeatedly reporting that he’s done in Arizona and wants to be traded. The least he can do is be quiet so the Cardinals can get max value for him in a deal.

Either way, Anquan Boldin’s time in Arizona looks like it’s up.

Cards could face major changes next season

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t even a week removed from losing Super Bowl XLIII and already they need to fill both coordinator positions, convince starting quarterback Kurt Warner to return next season and deal with wide receiver Anquan Boldin’s continued unhappiness. Oh yeah, and linebacker Karlos Dansby is also set to become a free agent.

On Friday, the Chiefs hired Todd Haley – the mastermind behind the Cardinals’ dynamic offense in 2008 – to become their next head coach. Not 24 hours later, Arizona fired coordinator Clancy Pendergast, despite his success coming up with defensive schemes to thwart top NFC runners Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Brian Westbrook and Willie Parker in the playoffs.

The loss of Haley is significant because he developed all the game plans and called the plays for the Cards’ biggest strength: their offense. It’s unsure at this point why the team fired Pendergast, but the franchise must have someone waiting in the wings because you don’t make a dramatic move like that without having a game plan in place.

If Arizona can’t re-sign Warner and Dansby, then has to part with Boldin because they can’t appease his contract demands, then we could be looking at a very different Cardinals team than the one that took the field last Sunday in the Super Bowl. By all accounts, the team shouldn’t have much of a problem convincing Warner to return, but Dansby will be a highly sought-after free agent who is only 27 and in the prime of his career.

Boldin’s situation is a different animal. He requested that the team trade him last preseason due to a lack of contract respect, and then threw a tantrum on the sidelines during the NFC Championship Game because Haley replaced him during a pivotal offensive series. Just recently, Boldin said that his relationship with the Cardinals was irreparable. At the end of the day, the team might not have a choice but to cut ties with the underrated receiver and trade him so his situation doesn’t continue to be a distraction.

In order for the Cards not take a major step back, the two coordinators that the team chooses will need to be sound hires. It would be wise for Arizona to then make re-signing Warner and Dansby their next priority, and then deal with Boldin since he’s already under contract and can’t bolt on his own accord. Nevertheless, this will be an interesting offseason in Arizona.

Anquan Boldin says relationship with Cardinals irreparable

Anquan Boldin is apparently going to need more than a new contract and a firm handshake from the Cardinals in order to make him happy.

From Rotoworld.com (via USA Tody):

Anquan BoldinAnquan Boldin said Thursday that his rift with Cardinals management is irreparable and could force him to renew his trade demands.

“It takes more than, ‘Well, we did you wrong and we’ll pay you this,'” said Boldin. “It’s not about the money. It was always about the principle.” Cardinals GM Rod Graves has been steadfast in his refusal to discuss a trade, but Boldin and agent Drew Rosenhaus are sure to stir up interest this offseason. Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald believe cooler heads will prevail and Boldin will remain in a Cardinals uniform. Ah, but they underestimate the evil genius of Drew Rosenhaus.

Have you ever been in a relationship with a person for a couple of years and things start to go sour? Then even though things are bad, you tell yourself that if he/she starts changing their ways, you could see the relationship working out. You basically convince yourself that things could eventually work but you start setting the demands for the relationship so high that you essentially want it to fail so that you could get a clean break.

That’s what this Boldin situation reminds me of. Maybe he’s saying things could eventually work out in Arizona because he’s been there for so long and part of him wants to stay. But he wasn’t happy about his contract situation at the start of the 2008 season. Now he’s still upset about his contract, but he’s also saying that it’s not just about the money and it’s the principle of the matter. You get the feeling that no matter what the Cardinals’ brass eventually does, Boldin is going to make it impossible for the organization to make him happy in the end.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking that Boldin just wants out. He’s right – it’s not all about the money. It’s about the money, a fresh start and a change of scenery. And if that’s the case, he should state as such and be honest. Hey, some people just need a clean slate.

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