Report: Ravens, Chiefs Lead Race for Anquan Boldin, Patriots Out

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The crop of wide receivers available as unrestricted free agents is slim this offseason, so teams looking to bolster their air attacks have turned to the trade market. The hottest commodity in the early going appears to be the Arizona Cardinals’ Anquan Boldin.

The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs are believed to be the leading contenders for Boldin, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported via Twitter. The Patriots also made a brief foray into the race, according to a tweet by Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, but it now appears that Bill Belichick merely entered the negotiations to drive up the price for the other interested teams.

The 29-year-old Boldin has been a dynamic threat for the Cardinals opposite Larry Fitzgerald, amassing more than 1,000 receiving yards in five of his seven NFL seasons. He has ideal size at 6-foot-1, 217 pounds, and both the soft hands and toughness to be an effective threat in the middle of the field. Boldin caught 84 passes for 1,024 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games last season.

The Cardinals — who have four starting-caliber receivers with Fitzgerald, Boldin, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet — have been looking to trade Boldin since last spring, but were unable to find a suitor willing to meet their asking price. Now that the price is down to just a third-round pick, interest has been plentiful.

Boldin is under contract for the 2010 season and will command a pricey deal once his current one expires, but even if his next team is unable to negotiate an extension, a third-round pick is a reasonable price to pay for a one-year difference-maker on offense.

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