PITSFORD, NY – At age 36, veteran wideout Anquan Boldin isn’t done with football just yet. The Bills announced Monday afternoon, that they had signed the 14-year vet, who visited with the team last month.
Boldin revealed his decision via Twitter, shortly after.
Season 15. pic.twitter.com/4DKyxQTeZM
— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) August 7, 2017
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the deal is for one year, $2.75 million, but includes incentives that could push his total payout this season to $4 million. Schefter also reported that Boldin first agreed to sign with the Bills last week, then backed out, before ultimately agreeing to sign with the team today.
Buffalo waived tight end Keith Towbridge to make room for Boldin on the 90-man roster.
At the start of camp, Bills head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane confirmed that Boldin visited the team a little over two weeks ago, calling it “great,” but provided very little insight into any ongoing discussions with the wideout. Boldin chose the Bills over his former teams the Lions and Ravens.
Boldin spent the first seven years of his career with the Cardinals before being traded to Baltimore in 2010. After three seasons in purple and black, he was shipped to the bay area in 2013 and spent the next three years with the 49ers, before signing with Detroit last offseason. Now, he’ll spend his 15th season with the Bills, who lack depth at the receiver position beyond the oft-injured Sammy Watkins.
In 2016, Boldin put up some pretty solid numbers in Detroit, finishing second on the team with 67 receptions, accumulating 584 yards and scoring eight total touchdowns. He also showed great durability for his age, playing in all 16 games last season. Those marks came however, with Matthew Stafford throing him the football. He’ll see if he can have similar success with Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Judging by the reactions on social media, it sounds like most Bills fans love this move and I get it. Buffalo adds a proven, durable veteran receiver who bolsters a questionable receiving corps. And yet, it still doesn’t feel like the Bills are much closer to contending for a championship in 2017, than they were a few hours ago when Boldin was still a free agent.
In truth, it’s hard to knock the addition of Boldin because lets face it, the Bills could use the help at wide receiver. But lets not sit here and pretend Boldin fixes all of Buffalo’s problem’s either. Eseentially, I’m indifferent about it. It’s good. It’s fine. It helps. But is a 36-year-old Anquan Boldin a one-way ticket to Super Bowl 52, or even the playoffs? No.
Also, don’t overlook the fact that last year Boldin was fielding passes from Matthew Stafford, who’s regarded as one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the NFL today. Using last year’s numbers as a berometer for what the Bills can expect this year from the wideout, would be irresponsible, especially without knowing his role at this point.
Ultimately, this is a low-risk, potentially high reward deal for Buffalo. It’s only a one-year deal so there’s no commitment beyond this season, and it adds another vet into the mix at wide receiver who can contribute on a weekly basis. But lets save the champagne. He’s likely the third or fourth wideout on this team, not the answer to all Bills fans prayers.
Mostly, the addition of Boldin means Taylor has no excuse to not succeed this season. He has a fully equipped arsenal of weapons at his disposal and if they can stay healthy he needs to prove he can be more than an elusive runner.
On a final note, this signing puts some pressure on Andre Holmes, who has been a little underwhelming at camp so far. He was already getting supplanted by Rod Streater during 11-on-11 work on Monday. Now the top of the depth chart just got a little more crowded.
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