Bills general manager Brandon Beane said Tuesday that the team wouldn't release its rights to Boldin and allow him to play anywhere else this season, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. "We made a commitment to Anquan, and he made a commitment to us back in [training] camp. He left for the reasons he mentioned back in August," Beane said, alluding to Boldin's announcement that he would retire shortly after he signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
About two months after indicating his career was over and subsequently landing on the Bills' reserve/retired list, the 37-year-old Boldin informed management that he was still interested in keeping his career going if he could play for a team closer to his home in Florida. The Bills reportedly gave Boldin and his agent permission about a week ago to speak with prospective suitors for the "sole purpose of discussing a trade," but with the veteran wideout's rights remaining with Buffalo following Tuesday's deadline for any deal, it looks likely that he'll stay retired. Rather than holding out hope that Boldin might reconsider his stance and play for them, the Bills were proactive in bolstering their weak wideout corps for the second half of the season, acquiring Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers on Tuesday to likely serve as their new No. 1 receiver.
Boldin is interested in playing again and the Bills have given his agent permission to seek a trade with another team (the Bills hold his rights) if there's a fit, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports, per a letter ESPN obtained.
While Boldin is likely moving past his fantasy days, he did have eight touchdown catches for the Lions last season and could probably serve as a decent No. 3 receiver for someone. This is the time of year when a number of teams are working through wideout injuries, and with plenty of franchises about to go on bye it seems someone would be willing to bring in and assess Boldin, assuming the 37-year-old is truly interested in playing again after surprisingly retiring from football right before the 2017 season. It's thought that Boldin would ideally like to play closer to his Florida home, but that state's three teams are pretty well stocked at the receiver position.
Boldin announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, Jim Trotter of ESPN reports.
While it isn't clear why Boldin is calling it quits just two weeks after signing a one-year contract with the Bills, the gritty veteran has plenty to hang his hat as he looks back on a 14-year career that all started with the Cardinals selecting him in the second round of the 2003 draft. Boldin immediately exploded onto the scene -- catching 10 passes for 217 yards in his first game -- and ultimately finished as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Then, after earning three Pro Bowl nods along the way, Boldin won a Super Bowl title with the Ravens before making separate, less celebrated stints with the 49ers and Lions. He'll retire ninth all time in receptions (1,076), 14th in receiving yards (13,779) and tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns (82). As for the Bills, Boldin's departure leaves the team with even more uncertainty at receiver. Second-round rookie Zay Jones is probably the favorite to claim the starting role opposite Jordan Matthews, but Andre Holmes is still around while Rod Streater (toe) could make a bid as well.
Boldin caught one pass for five yards on three targets in Thursday's preseason game against Buffalo.
Boldin appeared to get snaps both outside and from the slot, after almost exclusively playing inside the past two years in Detroit and San Francisco. He may be moved around out of necessity as part of a shaky receiving corps, especially considering that Jordan Matthews (sternum) has also done his best work from the slot. With Sammy Watkins gone and Matthews sidelined, Tyrod Taylor looked horrific in Thursday's game, often forced to bail on plays and panicking on multiple occasions when he couldn't find an open man. The Bills admittedly were facing a tough opponent and still have time to cobble together a respectable passing attack before Week 1.
The Bills have pretty much a brand-new receiving corps this season, while Boldin was just signed last week. Hence, much of the slotting still needs to be worked out, though Boldin is generally thought to fit at the very least in the top three and the guy most likely to work from the slot. Even at 36, Boldin remains a guy who knows who to haul in his share of catches, though no one's pretending he has breakaway speed at this stage of his career. What's odd is the Bills now have no stud receiver after trading Sammy Watkins, while several guys seemingly fit the same kind of make-up -- bigger targets with good hands that aren't known for stretching the field.
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||85||1179||13.9||63||7||19||3||62|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||83||1062||12.8||76||5||14||1||56|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||13||69||789||11.4||51||4||10||1||35|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||2||11||5.5||11||0||0||1|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||1||4||4.0||4||0||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||13||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||16||1||0||0.0||0||0.00||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||39.6|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||13||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||0||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2013||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Francisco 49ers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||14||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|