49ers

Maybe Anquan Boldin is a Hall of Famer after all

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USATI

Maybe Anquan Boldin is a Hall of Famer after all

Anquan Boldin is now a Buffalo Bill, and that should inspire to change no plans in your day. I mean, it’s his fifth team and all, and the Bills haven’t made the playoffs since he was a freshman at Florida State.

In other words, he’s been around. A lot. Only four players among the list of the top 250 wide receivers have played for more teams.

But Boldin has also been around the ball a lot, too. He is 26 short of becoming the fourth most prolific pass catcher in NFL history, which seems completely absurd because he’s, well, just Anquan Boldin.

Except maybe he isn’t just Anquan Boldin. He is among a list of wide receivers who either are or are going to be Hall of Famers. Of the eight above him, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald are not in but will be, Jason Witten probably will be and Terrell Owens will be in after he has done whatever penance it is to make the Hall of Fame selectors view him more kindly.

So why not Anquan Boldin in Canton then? Well, three days ago, the answer seemed obvious – he’s Anquan Boldin. Except if you believe in aggregation as sufficient credentials for the Hall, then he’s ANQUAN BOLDIN!

And he could be ANQUAN BOLDIN! for awhile. Brandon Marshall, the next active pass catcher, is 135 behind him, Antonio Gates is 179 back, and Antonio Brown is 444 to the rear. In short, Boldin is going to be The Receiver With The Most Catches Not In The Hall Of Fame, which is an argument that eventually convinced people to vote for Cris Carter and Tim Brown. Plus, he won one Super Bowl and played in two others, which is something neither Carter nor Brown could have said.

So maybe Anquan Boldin is a Hall of Famer after all. I mean, nobody would ever have thought it, but nobody thought Adrian Beltre was a sure Hall of Famer until everyone suddenly looked up and declared him one.

Because that’s the real way you become a Hall of Famer – when there’s no really compelling argument for you not to be.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”