Anquan Boldin says he's retiring less than two weeks after signing with Bills
Boldin, 36, who ranks ninth in career receptions, is calling it quits after 14 NFL seasons
Anquan Boldin's stint with the Bills didn't last long. Less than two weeks after signing a one-year deal with the Bills, Boldin is retiring.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Jim Trotter on Sunday night. Shortly after, Boldin released a statement through Trotter. Here's what it said:
Football in its purest form is what we all strive for as a nation. People from all difference races, religions and backgrounds working together for one shared goal. The core values taught in football are some of the most important you can learn in life. To always be there for the guy next to you and not let your fellow man down. You do whatever it takes to make sure your brother is OK.
Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work. At this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority. My life's purpose is bigger than football.
And here's Bills general manager Brandon Beane's statement:
We respect Anquan's decision to retire from the NFL. We appreciate the time he gave us over the past two weeks. He is one of the best receivers to play this game and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward.
Boldin, 36, is ninth all-time in career receptions with 1,076. If he had played this season, he likely would've passed Terrell Owens (1,078), Jason Witten (1,089), Tim Brown (1,094), Cris Carter (1,101), and Marvin Harrison (1,102), which means he could've moved up all the way to No. 4 on the all-time list. He's a future Hall of Famer. In his 14-year career, which he spent with the Cardinals, Ravens, 49ers, and Lions, he racked up 13,779 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns (82 through the air, one on the ground). He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens after the 2012 season.
He wasn't really even slowing down like he should've given his age. Last year with the Lions, Boldin caught 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. On a horrific 49ers team in 2015, he caught 69 passes for 789 yards and four touchdowns. He can still play -- largely because he's the kind of big-bodied receiver who doesn't need to gain separation to be considered open -- but he apparently won't be any longer.
For the Bills, this is a big blow. Their receiving corps is an unmitigated disaster. Remember: They already traded Sammy Watkins to the Rams, which means their best receiver is either Zay Jones (a second-round pick) or Jordan Matthews (currently hurt). The rest of their depth chart doesn't inspire much confidence:
Boldin will be missed -- by the Bills and, of course, the entire NFL.
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