The difficulties with the Ravens trying to get Anquan Boldin to take a pay cut have been widely reported of late. It has had many fans hoping the Ravens release the standout receiver so their team would have a shot at him. But the teams who were waiting were the ones left out in the cold as John Harbaugh sends his little brother Jim a consolation prize.
Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to help the Ravens beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Now, pending a physical, Boldin will be heading to the Bay Area to play for the team he torched.
All it cost the 49ers was a sixth round pick - something the Raiders should have been eager to part with for the likes of Boldin. He would be a number one receiver in Oakland and instantly Carson Palmer's favorite target.
In that Super Bowl along, Boldin was unstoppable. He turned every 50/50 ball into a 90/10 catch. His strength, ball skills, timing, and leaping ability left the 49ers cornerbacks helpless to stop him. The Raiders have no one on their roster that comes close to that kind of domination. They don't even have a guy who could honestly be considered a number one receiver.
The only catch here is Boldin's cap hit which is $6 million. The Raiders are far enough under the cap at this moment to be able to afford the added cap hit and if they were to cut or Darrius Heyward-Bey, they would free up another $5.4 million, making the move entirely doable.
This leaves the Raiders with little to no options to upgrade their receiving corps. The only free agent upgrades are Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace-both of whom are expected to be out of the Raiders' price range and command serious "out of whack" contracts.
The only other uncertain option is to hope they can trade down in the first round and try to find a good receiver in rounds 1-2. And even then, expecting early results is a stretch.
Acquiring Boldin was their best shot and they missed it.