The Baltimore Ravens have traded their 2010 third- and fourth-round draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for WR Anquan Boldin*and a 2010 fifth-round draft pick, executive vice president and general manager Ozzie Newsome* announced Friday evening.
Boldin will fly to Baltimore Sunday and take a physical Monday. The Ravens plan on holding a press conference with him Monday afternoon. (The team will send out a release detailing this information at a later time.)
A three-time Pro Bowler, Boldin recorded 84 catches for 1,024 yards (12.2 avg.) and four touchdowns this past season. During his seven-year NFL career, the 6-1, 217-pounder has totaled 586 receptions for 7,520 yards and 44 touchdowns.
"Anquan is a player who makes the tough catches, and he is outstanding getting yards after catches," Newsome stated. "He will also help the running game with his blocking skills. He's a very tough competitor, and with the way he plays with passion, he'll fit right in with the foundation we have for our team."
Since entering the league as a second-round draft choice out of Florida State in 2003, Boldin's catches rank seventh most and his receiving yards sixth most in the NFL. Boldin's 79.2 receiving yards per game during this span stand second only to Steve Smith's 80.3.
Boldin, 29, has played in 95 career games, making 92 starts. He has registered at least 56 catches in every season he's played, including dual campaigns of 100-plus receptions in 2003 (101) and 2005 (a career-high 102).
"I'm definitely excited," Boldin said. "For me, I've been hoping for this for a year since I first heard that the Ravens might be interested in me. I even talked with Ray [Lewis] about it a year ago. I really look at this as a great opportunity for me. They love football in Baltimore. I know that from when the Cardinals played there a few years ago. That place was loud, very impressive by the fans. The Ravens play a certain way. They play as hard and as physical as any team in the league, and I want to add to that. I think I play the way they play."
"The Ravens just got better," head coach John Harbaugh affirmed. "Anquan is a significant addition for us. He fits the personality of our team with the hardnosed, physical way he plays. We love the way he competes. Our fans will enjoy watching him compete, and his teammates will be excited to have him with us."
Boldin became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 400 career receptions when he hit the milestone against Atlanta (12/23/07) in his 67th career game, five games faster than the previous record holder (Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr.). He also reached the 4,000-yard receiving barrier in his 48th career game, becoming the third-fastest player in NFL history to accomplish the milestone behind Lance Alworth (42) and Randy Moss (47). (Charley Hennigan and Jerry Rice also did it in 48 games.)
Boldin leaves Arizona as the Cardinals' all-time leader in catches, also ranking third in career receiving yards and fifth in career receiving touchdowns.
"I'm a piece of the puzzle for [the Ravens]," Boldin continued. "They have a great group of guys over there. They can run the ball behind a very good line with three running backs as good as anyone's. The young quarterback, Joe Flacco, has already made his mark – two playoff teams in two years. That's obviously pretty good. And, that defense… Everyone knows what they bring to every game. I'm just happy to be going to a team that has a lot going for it. I believe I can help them, maybe get them to another level. I think I'll fit in with them. It's going to be a lot of fun being a Raven."