Anquan Boldin left in the dark after NFL’s trade deadline

DETROIT.MI - NOVEMBER 24: Anquan Boldin
DETROIT.MI - NOVEMBER 24: Anquan Boldin /

Any hopes that veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin had of joining another team went south after the Buffalo Bills failed to complete a trade before the NFL deadline.

The Buffalo Bills hold the keys to Anquan Boldin’s future. Either the veteran wide receiver can change his mind and return to the team to play for them or he can stay retired as he currently is. For now those are the only choices facing a wideout who could definitely help several teams down the stretch, including the Kansas City Chiefs, but unfortunately for the player, his team refuses to let him go. They have good reasons for their posture.

Boldin signed with the Buffalo Bills before the regular season and then suddenly decided he no longer wanted to play for them. It’s likely that he failed to see that the team would be 5-2 at this point, like everyone else in the NFL, as the team traded away one player after another—from Sammy Watkins to Ronald Darby to Reggie Ragland—for future assets. If the Bills were going to tank, or at the very least were not going to push to compete, then why play for them? That had to be the thought in Boldin’s mind.

Fast forward several weeks and the Bills are one of the NFL’s hottest teams, being remade on the fly by new leadership in head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane. At 5-2, they recently traded for Kelvin Benjamin to land a go-to target in the end zone for Tyrod Taylor. They look competitive now and have several looming draft picks ready for future impact. Boldin could be enjoying this ride, if he wanted to be a part of it.

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Instead, Boldin backed out and rumors swirled that the Bills would try to trade Boldin’s rights in order to recoup something. However the NFL’s trade deadline came and went without so much as a peep about Boldin, meaning that the wideout is stuck with Buffalo or nothing.

It’s easy to feel bad for Boldin if you are a fan hoping he could join your team. The Chiefs, for instance, have the youngest batch of wide receivers in the league and have lost Chris Conley for the season. Tyreek Hill has missed time with a concussion and Albert Wilson has been sidelined on multiple occasions. Not only is there room for another player, but a savvy veteran like Boldin would be an ideal fit if the price was right both financially and trade-wise.

Alas, that’s not going to happen. Boldin was either never offered up via trade as the rumors suggested or there wasn’t a market for him in the end. For now, Boldin’s only recourse is to ask if he can join the team he should have been with all along, joining in as part of the solution.