One of the greatest receivers in NFL history retired this weekend with little fanfare. Anquan Boldin hung up his cleats after 14 glorious, golden years in the NFL, just weeks after signing with the Buffalo Bills. He still had a slight fire to play, but wasn’t trying to be part of a rebuilding situation at this point in his life.
ESPN’s Jim Trotter first reported the news.
Statement from Anquan Boldin on his decision to retire:
“We respect Anyone’s decision to retire from the NFL,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said in a statement. “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 was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003 out of Florida State and teamed with future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. For six seasons, they terrorized NFL defenses as one of the greatest pair of wideouts the game has ever seen.
After seven years with the Cards, dudes thought Boldin was slowing down, but he moved to Baltimore for three seasons and helped them win a Super Bowl, before doing three years in San Francisco and one with the Detroit Lions.
After an amazing career, Anquan Boldin decides to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL. You made your mark, champion.
Fitzgerald was known as the breakaway receiver and Boldin was considered more of a big target and lethal possession and red zone receiver. Talk about pick ya poison. Boldin ranks 14th all-time in receiving yards with 13,779 on 1,076 receptions with 82 touchdowns.
Since 2008, he earned 3,495 yards after the catch, per Pro Football Focus. Only Wes Welker and Larry Fitzgerald have more in that span.
Anquan Boldin retiring. Since 2008 he had 3495 yards after the catch. Only Wes Welker and Larry Fitzgerald have more in that span.
Even during the 36-year-olds last season in Detroit, Boldin was Matthew Stafford’s go-to red-zone target (8 touchdowns) and clutch third-down target. He still has something left in the tank, but he doesn’t owe the game anything and hes ready to pursue interests and opportunities beyond the gridiron that will leave a much bigger impact than what he accomplished on the football field.
Boldin was a workhorse and he could put in hard-hitting blue color work at receiver and also do the flashy, phenomenal things that game breaking wideouts did. He was a complete package at the position and definitely one of the top receivers in an era that saw an explosion of prolific pass-snatchers and the NFL turn from a run-first league into a wide-open, spread passing community.
Didnt matter what the game plan was, Boldin was up to the task. He was the epitome of a football player, having broken his face once in a game. He’s also an example of the type of player the NFL wants to have long careers and be a face of the league as he won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award presented annually by the NFL, honoring a player’s volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field.
In our own words. This is not about protest. This is about reform. #PlayersCoalition https://t.co/Xt2PJdsqZm
His service and extraordinary talents will be truly missed by the NFL community.