Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ravens need to dial up Cardinals to fill hole at No. 1 WR

During our radio program The X Factor this past Saturday, we discussed the hypothetical offseason tag and trade of Terrell Suggs to the Arizona Cardinals for Anquan Boldin. For many reasons, I think the trade makes sense.

The Ravens impressive scouting department seems to have an innate ability to discover raw talent, particularly at linebacker that fits the Ravens’ style of play and the defensive coaching staff is equally as impressive in developing that talent. They have turned a 6th round pick (Adalius Thomas) and an undrafted free agent (Bart Scott) into Pro Bowlers. Yet at the position of receiver, the Ravens turn first round picks into future disappointments that never approach the scouting department’s originally projected performance levels.

So why not then use the organization’s strength to help fortify one of its weaknesses? Why not bet on their ability to find the next Thomas or Scott instead of the next receiver wearing No. 89 that can’t consistently create separation at the NFL level?

Anquan Boldin will draw attention. He can make the big play and deliver the yards after catch. He is tough and well rounded and can make a play in traffic in addition to being an effective blocker in the running game. Speaking of which, Ravens’ opponents will no longer be able to dedicate so much attention to play inside the box. Boldin spreads the field. He provides options and not only could he make Joe Flacco effective, he also helps Todd Heap and Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton because opponents could no longer commitment the resources to double team these players.

It makes too much sense not to pursue this deal – at least that’s how I see it. But some Ravens’ insiders aren’t as convinced. They think that Boldin benefits from lining up opposite Larry Fitzgerald and from an offense featuring the quick deliveries of Kurt Warner. And while these insiders make a strong argument, how do you then explain away Boldin’s rookie accomplishments?

During his rookie season, Boldin had 101 catches for 1,377 yards and 8 scores while Fitzgerald was a sophomore and Heisman runner-up at Pitt. Throwing the ball to Boldin in 2003 were the not so dynamic pair of Jeff Blake and Josh McCown.

Boldin might not have breakaway speed but he can certainly break away driven by an insatiable desire to compete and a work ethic second to none.

Ozzie, collect call from Mr. Whisenhunt in Arizona, will you accept?

4 comments :

jj said...

This trade made a lot of sense for both sides last off season. This year, the Cards would be crazy to trade Boldin for any defender in football. What defender could take him out of the game by them self? Why break up the best WR tandem in the NFL? AZ holds all the cards here. They already have the division won and are fighting for the 2 seed. They have a pretty good defense now and solid pass rushers coming in off the bench.

I am a huge Suggs fan, and tried to get the Ravens to trade him and a 1st round pick for Fitzgerald who was in a contract extension season. Boldin wants a new deal, but has no leverage, and the Cards have no incentive to trade him even for a very good "franchise" OLB and a 1st round pick. They could just wait the Ravens out and have both of them without giving us anything.

The Ravens should just go after the best free agent WR like they did with Mason, and draft a WR on day 1 and day 2. Clayton, Williams, Smith, Figurs or one of the P squad guys could always emerge as the next Mason or even Reggie Wayne type now that we have a legit Qb situation, even the T.O. and Ocho Stinko types will want to play here. Giving up Sizzle may not be neccerary to secure the big time passing game we have been missing anyway, as 4 of the last 5 games would indicate. 30 points per game can come anyway they want to.

Anonymous said...

BOLDIN'S AN INSIDE GUY...WE HAVE MASON AND CLAYTON WHO ARE INSIDE GUYS TOO....IF FLACCO ENDS UP BEING GOOD, MASON AND CLAYTON WILL BE BETTER. DEION BRANCH AND DAVID GIVENS WERE GREAT RECEIVERS IN NEW ENGLAND WITH BRADY....GIVE JOE A CHANCE BEFORE WE SELL THE RANCH TO ACQUIRE A RECEIVER WE MIGHT NOT NEED....SUGGS IS ONE OF THE BEST ALL-AROUND DE'S IN THE LEAGUE. IT'S TOUGHER TO FIND THOSE GUYS THAN A 4.7 RECEIVER WHO CATCHES A TON OF PASSES ON A TEAM THAT DOESN'T RUN THE BALL WORTH A DAMN....

Anonymous said...

I say trade Suggs for Boldin.

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 Nov 27th
Happy Thanksgiving
We have so much to be thankful for today. But footballwise, thank the Ravens Scouts for having the foresight to bring JOE FLACCO to Baltimore.
... I say the BEST is yet to come.
and Yes yes yes..Gas up the limo to pick up BOLDEN at BWI.