Posted March 09, 2013

Report: Anquan Boldin will test free agency after rejecting Ravens’ pay cut

NFL
Anquan Boldin will test the free-agent market if the Ravens release him. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Anquan Boldin will test the free-agent market if the Ravens release him. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin has rejected the team’s request to cut his salary and is preparing to test the free-agent market, USA Today’s Jarrett Bell reported on Saturday.

Boldin had previously said that he would rather retire than play for another team if the Ravens released him, but now it appears that he has changed his tune. Boldin has one year remaining on a four-year, $25 million contract. He is due to make $6 million next season. His cap number is about $7.5 million, a number the Ravens want to cut to be able to sign free agent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and look at other moves.

At 32, Boldin could have a few suitors in free agency. He played a key role in the Ravens’ road to a Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers. In four games this postseason, Boldin had 22 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns. He caught two touchdown passes in the Ravens’ AFC Championship win over the New England Patriots in Foxboro and added a touchdown in the Ravens’ 34-31 Super Bowl win.

When the Ravens locked up quarterback Joe Flacco to a record-setting contract this week, he said he hoped that the Ravens would be able to retain Boldin.

“He’s a big part of this offense,” Flacco said. “He’s a big reason why I’m standing here talking to you guys.”


44 comments
L7
L7

First, the fact that there are 12 QBs taking up more cap space through 2015 makes sense as Flacco was, this season, ranked 12th among NFL QBs in passing and 25th in total QBR. But the real wrench is contract year number 4, when Flaccos will hit the Raven's salary cap with $29m. Good luck resigning Ray Rice.

 

 

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

I pulled all the cap numbers for that starting QB;s around the league. 

 

1)      There are 21 QB’s in the league taking up more cap room in 2013 than Joe Flacco.  The only starters taking less were signed under the new CBA rookie scale.

2)      Two BACKUP QB’s are taking up more 2013 space.

3)      There are 12 QB’s taking up more combined cap space in the next three seasons.  (Keep in mind that only 20 teams have a QB signed thru 2015) 

 

Flacco's contract opened up space for other 2013 contracts, allowing for the possibility to resign the guys that made him look good.

  

Yes, four years from now, a decision will have to be made.  Either Joe will have proven himself and he’ll get a contract extension to spread out the cap hit, or the team will give up on him and eat the dead money.  It’s a three-year trial, essentially.  In those three years, Flacco will be one of the best cap values in the league.

 

That gives the Ravens a three-year window to stock the team with surrounding talent.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Boldin's receiving made Flacco look good ... not the other way around.  Unfortunately, after signing Flacco to a giant contract, they will have to cut some of the players who helped him look good.   Look for Baltimore to plummet in the standings.

Mr. J
Mr. J

Maybe Flacco should not be so greedy and realize that maybe he should not try to have the biggest contract ever and give some money to the receiver that help him make that BIG contract...If Bolden did not make a bunch of those spectacular catches in traffic..Flacco would have never won the Super Bowl and got paid...He is greedy to expect to be the highest paid player ever??.....Now you have hurt the team chances at repeating, since they will have to cut their core players....One and DONE!!

ianforbes
ianforbes

Why is it when a team wants to save money they can choose to redo a contract, but when a player feels they're underpaid and request a contract to be redone, they are suddenly ungrateful, unprofessional, not a team player, etc? Boldin is a huge reason Baltimore won the Super Bowl. Nice way to get rewarded.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

No Q, no Super Bowl. Bad move by the Ravens.

Whatever
Whatever

This is a bit ridiculous. We just saw Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson get paid about $10M - $11M/year, and the Ravens don't want to pay a guy like Boldin (with better numbers) $6M? Just who are they going to get to replace Boldin and who would cost less? Randy Moss? Please.

lionoah
lionoah

First the pay cut, then the roster cut, Boldin chose wisely. His game is not predicated on speed, but rather skilly and physicality. San Francisco and New England might even kick the tires on him. He has already been to the mountaintop and need not worry about getting a few bucks more. I'm thinking a good 3 year 25 million deal with maybe 10 million guaranteed.

 

I see the Ravens being competitive in the future, but I'm not sure if the coaching will be able to overcome what will turn out to be a mediocre roster. Mediocre because if you cannot keep a STUD WR who has plenty left, than you already have problems.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

When is a contract not a contract? In the NFL. Good luck man...

FreddieFunStuff
FreddieFunStuff

I would sign him in a second if I were a GM looking for a reliable possession type receiver. The guy may be the toughest WR in the league and has plenty left in the tank. 

FanJab
FanJab

I'm surprised they didn't do more to keep Boldin. The Ravens had to know he wasn't going to take a pay cut..

wizzla761
wizzla761

They won't make the playoffs next year.  You heard it here first

Scramble
Scramble

Flacco greeded himself right out of one of the two responsible for the Ravens winning the super bowl and making it through the playoffs.

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

Well, if you're making comparisons with current stats, you should be using current cap hits.  So, he's 22nd in cap hit for a 12th/25th rated QB. 

 

For the three-year cap numbers, Flacco is currently 12th out of 20.  By the time 2015 is in the books, several teams will have signed/resigned a QB that will have taken up more cap than Flacco.

 

Absolutely agree about year 4.  They'll never take that cap hit as-is.  If things work out well (Flacco contines improvement and the team remains playoff contenders) they'll renegotiate the contract in 2016.  If things fall apart, and Flacco doesn't live up to the contract, they'll give him the choice of a pay cut or being cut.  The dead money will hurt.  But, if that happens, they'll be in the sh*t anyway.

 

They may not WANT to resign Ray Rice, if Pierce continues to shine.  At the east, they'll have to choose among the two.

 

At any rate, the next three seasons should be a good window, with a league-low veteran QB cap hit.

dt
dt

 @jonathonshawb You're right.  His deal is backloaded.  His cap numbers this year is somewhere between $6-7 million, which isn't much for a starter.  

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @RobertSmith See the posts above.  Joe Flacco's cap hit this year has nothing to do with Anquan Boldin's contract.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @Mr. J So this guy whose name you cannot even spell is suddenly the key to the Raven's Super Bowl win?  Good stuff.  Somehow those 65 catches may be replaceable.  QBs get paid.  Get over it.

FreddieFunStuff
FreddieFunStuff

 @lionoah SF needs a guy with wheels. They have a Boldin type guy in Crabtree. NE ight be a good fit though.

JeffRamey
JeffRamey

 @M as in Mancy Actually, the NFL and most other single-entity ownership professional sports leagues are excellent illustrations of contract and labor law.

sunrider101
sunrider101

 @Scramble  learn how things work before you make ignorant comments like this. 

 

by signing him to a contract, we lowered his potential cap hit mere 7 mil (compare to potential 19 mil if it was franchise hit). 

 

btw, in 2 years, his cap goes up to 17.  high for sure, but in line with other top tier QBs. 

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@Scramble In 2 years when his cap number becomes astronomical, the Ravens won't be able to afford Torrey Smith or Pitta either...

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

BTW, I try to format the comment so it's not a large, unwieldy wall of text. How do you format your replies?

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@jonathonshawb As long as they don't play my team, I actually like the Ravens. But, your numbers mean NOTHING in the context of the team's personnel ACTIONS. Essentially, by taking a hard line with Boldin, they are releasing him. There's no action on retaining Kruger, Ellerbe, and Reed. Remember, re-signing these guys means a backloaded contract close to when Flacco's cap number skyrockets. Last I checked, those 4 guys aren't scrubs and were key parts in BAL's success over the past five years and their SB run. Do you really think that Baltimore is letting these guys go because they are "not good enough" or is it because your QB is sucking up cap space like a Hummer sucks gas? Again, explain these personnel actions (or inaction) that EVERYONE, not just me predicted with something better than cap numbers and QB salaries for other bad teams. I'll be here...

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@JoeCabot @Mr. J Flacco got his contract based upon his playoff performance. As I recall, a huge part of Flacco's playoff success was Boldin's 22 catches good for 17.3 ypc and 4 TDs. Especially on some questionable jump balls. $6M isn't a lot for a borderline HOF receiver who was a big part of his QB's success. Do you really think he's worth less than 1/3rd of his QB's value? As you once told me when I was a young pup...Team game and all.

Whatever
Whatever

 @FreddieFunStuff  @lionoah NE has Gronk and Henderson and either Welker or the other guy as a slot/possession receiver. Boldin would actually fit well with the Jets or Steelers or Redskins.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@JeffRamey Buddy, I'm not sure what that means. Does the NBA, MLB, NHL, EPL count as "single-entity ownership professional sports leagues?" Because if I recall, they all have guaranteed contracts. Please educate me. BTW, as a fan of the game, I love non-guaranteed contracts because it allows for instant accoutability as well as incredibly quick rebuilds. As a fan of Boldin, it's pretty tough for him.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@sunrider101 @Scramble Flacco's cap numbers. Year 1: $6.8M. Year 2: $14.8M, Year 4: $29M- Peter King. Let me know how that works out for you in building/maintaining a competitive roster. BTW-we can argue about if the guy is top tier (Outside a legendary 4 playoff games, I don't think so) but if he is "top tier" it's because of a great receiving and TE corps, which is already starting to disintegrate.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @Mr. J  Good one.  You told me.   Apologies for being part of the conversation that added actual facts to the mix and made your post look like nothing more than a tantrum.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@JoeCabot The salary cap number is just a creative accounting scheme of payment variations. Unless they cut Flacco, It's not going to alter the 6 yr, $120 mil that Flacco is owed. Regardless of the cap number, in a financially constricted environment, one action will dictate another. This is the personnel cascade that we were all talking about with bloated QB salaries.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @M as in Mancy  Based on the posts above, which seem well researched, Flacco's cap hit this year is not $20 mil, but much less.   This seems to be all about Boldin, not Flacco.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@JoeCabot Good catch. If Flacco gets $20 mil and Boldin gets $7.5 mil, that makes it slightly more than 1/3rd of what his QB makes. Is that what he's worth?

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@RobertSmith Please correct me if I'm wrong, but signing bonuses are guaranteed and paid instantly, while being pro-rated through the life of the contract. However each year the actual salary is guaranteed only after the beginning of the NFL fiscal year-March 12th in this case, which is why all these guys are getting restructured and cut, to avoid paying 2013's salary. Please cite examples of "individual guarantees" because based on what I know, it's a series of one year deals renewed at the discretion of the franchise.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

 @M as in Mancy   SOME NFL contracts ARE guaranteed.  They do not have a system where EVERY contract is guaranteed which is what makes it a better illustration of contract law than the others.  If you want a guarantee, put it in the individual contract, because it is not automatically required as part of the labor agreement.  In this case, to get a guarantee, the player has to give up something ... probably some potential money in exchange for getting a guarantee on the rest.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@jonathonshawb Buddy, I was certain he wouldn't backload because it's STUPID. Newsome suckered him. With non-guaranteed contracts, backloading incentivizes the team to restructure or cut him. That's why I was baffled, because if he has the leverage to push for a giant salary, he should have the leverage to frontload it and get the money he "deserves" ASAP. I don't know how you're doing your creative accounting and regardless, it's a financially constrained operating environment caused by the salary cap and Flacco's contract. You can spout numbers all you want, but at the end of the day, we know that organizations have to make tough decisions, often caused by poor decisions earlier...

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

You're confusing the player's cost with the cap hit.  That's why you were certain that Flacco would never backload, and why you were baffled when they seemed to have done just that.

 

Backloaded contracts are ones where a disproportionate amount of money is OWED TO THE PLAYER in the last year(s) of the contract.  Teams tack some fantasy sixth year on a 5-yr contract with a 3x base salary.  A 5-yr $50M contract appears to be a 6-yr $80M deal.  That way, the player and agent save face with a large reported contract.  But, the player will never see that last year, because the team can cut the guy after 5 years, having paid him $10M/year.

 

Contrast that with Flacco's contract, in which he receives his $20M per year either on time or accelerated into the bonus.  Cut him after 3 years, and it'll cost $62M.  After four years, $80M.  After five years, $100M.  It's not backloaded, because the COST TO KEEP HIM is evenly distributed.

 

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@jonathonshawb The Baltimore Sun wrote this: "The salary cap figure balloons to $29 million in the fourth year, a structure that will likely mean the deal will be restructured after the first three years." When I say backloaded contract, I'm getting the info from your hometown paper and referring to the contract's cap hit. And you're a fool if you think that the Ravens haven't already projected payroll based upon current and future contracts. That's standard corporate practice and smart planning. They are making decisions based upon those future projections. Again, you can cite historical QB salary precendent, and it only reinforces the fact that bloated QB contracts regardless of clever accounting lead to bad teams. Or best case, Denver has a 2 year window team. And Newsome did the best he could based upon Flacco's outrageous demands. What can I say?

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

I'm looking three years ahead.  Anybody that tells you they're looking further than that in the NFL is either an idiot or a liar.

 

Read the sports page.  There are good NFL players being cut or being asked to take pay cuts all over the league.  It's normal NFL MO, not fallout from a single contract.  It's CERTAINLY not the effect of one contract's terms for the 2016 season.

 

They are not CUTTING Boldin.

 

I have no idea why you think this contract is backloaded.  You either haven't  looked at the terms or you just don't understand NFL contracts.  Flacco's getting $30M next year, $21M in year two, and $11M in year three, then $18M, $20.6M, $20M.  Other than accelerating part of years three and four, it's a straight $20M per year.

 

You were right about one thing, the Ravens could not have done better.  Flacco was a free agent.  If teams were willing to pay Kolb, Cassel, Romo, Cutler, and Palmer $15M a year, they would have lined up to offer the SB MVP $20M.  Newsome not only kept his QB off the market, he got his QB's 2013 cap numer to THE LOWEST VETERAN NUMBER N THE LEAGUE.  On top of that, there are only two veteran QB's with a lower combined cap hit in the next three years.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@jonathonshawb His contract runs for 5 years, not 2, thus will have cap repercussions for 5 years. The final few years are financial suicide. You're looking 2 feet ahead, not seeing the big picture. And based on Flacco's leverage, Newsome did the smart thing by backloading the bloated contract. If they were to re-sign Boldin, his last few years would coincide with Flacco's. Impossible to manage. Regardless of cap number, $120M is a universally panned contract that's forcing them to make tough decisions they otherwise wouldn't have to...ie cut Boldin. And no, theycouldn't have done better, but here are the consequences that we all predicted.

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

His cap numbers are lower than 3/4 of the league's.  I have no idea what you think he, or the Ravens, could have done better.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@jonathonshawb Um...your QB's surrounding talent has a direct correlation with his performance. His contract has a direct correlation with the team letting go of key players who contributed to his performance. BTW-citing other teams' (particularly bad ones-SD, Buffalo, Arizona, Dallas) actions doesn't validate a bad decision or help your case.

jonathonshawb
jonathonshawb

 @M as in Mancy @Scramble M, I don't know why you keep up with this nonsense. 

 

Flacco's cap numbers are $6.8M/$14.8M/$14.6M in the first three years. About $36M total. 

 

For the same 3 seasons:

Carson Palmer: $15.3M/$17.3M/$17.3M 

Peyton Manning; $20M/$20M/$20M

Eli Manning: $20.8M/$20.4M/$19.4M

Phillip Rivers $17.1M/$15.0M/$15.8M 

Romo counts $14.8M next season. 

Kolb counts for $38.5M 2013-2015. 

Ryan Fitspatrick counts $31.5M 2013-2105

St Brady counts $42M 2013-2015

 

Is this getting through?  There probably aren't a dozen starting QB's in the league with LOWER cap numbers for the next three seasons!!!!!!!! (and they are all under their rookie contract)

 

So, it's total BS to blame Flacco's contract for the current cap squeeze.