The fantasy football world was stunned today as Anquan Boldin decided to walk away from football and instead focus on community work, citing a purpose “higher than football.” Boldin has been a dynasty asset for the better part of the past 14 seasons after he exploded onto the scene with the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, setting the rookie record for receptions that still stands with an amazing 101. While he isn’t the player he once was, this news is significant for Buffalo. The Bills now have a roster looking much different than it did just three weeks ago with the trades of Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby and now the retirement of Boldin. They’re clearly rebuilding and it’s fair to wonder if Boldin just simply didn’t want to be a part of it. Frankly, I might find a higher calling as well if I was a veteran player on a team that looks like they have no intention of trying to really compete in 2017. Let’s take a look at the different players affected by the surprise news.
Anquan Boldin, WR FA
Over his 14-year career, Boldin amassed 1,076 career receptions (ninth all-time), 13,779 receiving yards (14th all-time) and 82 touchdowns (tied for 23rd all-time) as he played for four different teams. Boldin’s effectiveness was deteriorating as his yards per catch average had decreased every year from a robust 15.6 in 2011 with the Ravens to a very pedestrian 8.7 last season with the Lions. Still, he was going to be counted on by the Bills, especially with the recent trade of Watkins. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Boldin resurface with a contender later on but it sounds like he’s pretty steadfast in his decision. If this is truly it, we’ll miss watching one of the true tough guys on Sundays.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK