According to The Baltimore Sun, the Ravens asked Boldin to take a $2 million pay cut or be released. Boldin, who was set to have a $6 million base salary ($7.531 million salary-cap figure), reportedly rejected the offer.
Instead of releasing Boldin and getting nothing in return, the Ravens opted to reportedly ship him to Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers, the team Boldin played a large part in defeating in Super Bowl XLVII.
Boldin, 32, caught six passes for 104 passes and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the 49ers. He made an impressive catch on a bomb down the sideline and hauled in a critical third-and-1 pass in the fourth quarter.
"Anquan was a great receiver for myself and for our football team," said quarterback
"It's sad to see a guy like that go. At the same time you want the best for him and you wish him the best of luck."
Boldin, who the Ravens traded third- and fourth-round picks for in the 2010 offseason, had a standout 2012 season, catching 65 passes for 921 yards (both highs during his three years in Baltimore).
He was particularly valuable in the playoffs, hauling in 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns. He’s the Ravens’ all-time leader in playoff receiving yards (616) and touchdowns (six).
Boldin still sits as one of the game’s most productive players. Of all current NFL players, he ranks third in yards per game over his career (72.6), just behind Houston’s Andre Johnson and Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald. He’s also third in average receptions per game (5.5).
With Boldin’s reported trade, the Ravens may look for 2011 fourth-round pick
"I was definitely shocked," Smith said while at the screening of the Ravens' season-review documentary. "You lose a great guy, a great leader, a mentor. You lose all that.
The Ravens were on hand at the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric to celebrate their Super Bowl season, but had a bit of sadness lingering over them as they posed for cameras on the purple carpet.
Smith said the toughest part is not losing somebody on the field, but "somebody that you love as a brother."
"That's the business every year. That's the tough part about this game. No team is ever the same," Smith said. "It's tough for everyone. Obviously for me it's going to be a little bit more reponsibility, but I had that last year and the year before."
"It's a business, man," Jones said. "Those things are going to happen. I wish Q the best. All the Ravens with me, we've got something they can never take from us."