Anquan Boldin has been a polarizing figure in Baltimore ever since the day he was traded shortly after the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. The team first acquired Boldin in a trade from the Arizona Cardinals on March 5, 2010, for a third and fourth round pick. The team also got a fifth round pick in return along with Boldin and shortly after, the team signed him to a 3-year, $25 million extension.
In his three seasons in Baltimore, the man called "Q" would become one of the more beloved players on the team. Boldin and quarterback Joe Flacco had very good chemistry with one another, and they trusted each other. As a Raven, Boldin caught 186 receptions, for 2,645 yards, and 14 touchdowns. In three postseasons in Baltimore, Boldin notched 38 receptions, for 618 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Of course, everyone remembers his 2012 playoff performance as a vital piece in helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII. Heck, four of his six postseason touchdowns as a Raven came in that 2012 run.
Since his departure, Boldin has produced with both the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. The Ravens would sign Steve Smith Sr., one year after trading Boldin. Originally, the team tried wide receiver Tandon Doss as his replacement in 2013, but he struggled with drops. Now, the Ravens have lost Smith to retirement and Kamar Aiken to the Indianapolis Colts in free agency, as they find themselves in the market for another veteran wide receiver once again.
At the AFC head coaches breakfast on Tuesday, John Harbaugh was asked about a possible Boldin reunion with him currently being an unrestricted free agent. Below is Harbaugh's response via the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:
Harbaugh said he'd obviously like to have Anquan Boldin back but that's up to Ozzie Newsome.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 28, 2017
If the Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome do consider bringing back Boldin, they would most likely have to do it after May 9th when signings don't count against compensatory picks. Team president Dick Cass brought this up on Monday. Harbaugh also wouldn't rule out a possible trade for a wide receiver.
Boldin, even at the age of 36, still led the Lions in touchdowns in 2016 with eight, and finished second on the team with 67 receptions. It almost seems too perfect of a fit for the team to bring him back and reunite him with Flacco. Especially when the Ravens are desperately in need of a receiver that possesses Boldin's talents.
However, Harbaugh did bring up a good point during his interview with reporters on Tuesday, mentioning that he wasn't sure if Boldin would want to come back anyway. Harbaugh stated:
"But that's up to Ozzie. It's up to all of us, but in the final accounting, I think we need to see what all the options are. And I don't even know if Anquan wants to come back. That would be another thing we have to look into."
That's a legitimate question to ask. The Ravens traded him for a 2013 sixth round draft pick after they couldn't come to an agreement on a pay cut. Yes, Boldin said he wanted to retire a Raven, but that was before the trade happened. Who knows what his feelings are now toward the organization? If there is animosity, can he let bygones be bygones?
Lions general manager Dan Quinn has made it clear they are interested in bringing Boldin back as well. There's a good chance he decides to go back to Detroit if there isn't anything he likes on the market.
It's clear that not only is Harbaugh open to a reunion with "Q", but owner Steve Biscotti is as well, as he alluded to at the end of the season press conference. The team might have to play the waiting game when all signings don't impact compensatory picks to make a run at Anquan Boldin. Is that a risk worth taking when the team is in dire need of a possession receiver? A guy who you know can spark the offense with his tenacity, toughness, and leadership? We will just have to wait and see.