OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Anquan Boldin wanted to be a Raven just over a year before he actually became one.
After Boldin and the Cardinals fell in the 2009 Super Bowl to the Steelers, Boldin and Ray Lewis sat at the Pro Bowl and talked about what they could do to get Boldin to Baltimore.
“Me and Ray had a conversation poolside trying to figure out how I was going to get here and how we were going to make it happen,” Boldin recalled. “The only thing on his mind was, ‘We’ve got to beat Pittsburgh. Can you help us do that?’ I told him, ‘Get me there, I’ll take care of it.’”
About 13 months after that conversation, Boldin was traded to the Ravens for third and fourth-round picks. He played three seasons in Baltimore from 2010 through 2012, where he won a Super Bowl with the team in the 2012 season.
He registered 837, 887 and 921 yards, respectively, in his three seasons in Baltimore for 2,645 yards total. He also had 14 touchdowns, including one in Super Bowl XLVII.
In the 2012 playoffs, Boldin had 380 yards on 22 receptions with four touchdowns as the Ravens' offense carried the team to a Super Bowl win.
“This is the sixth guy that has retired a Raven, and five of them played for other teams,” former Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. “This organization does a very good job and it begins at the top with Steve.”
Over his 14-year NFL career, Boldin was a three-time Pro Bowler, 2003 Offensive Rookie of The Year and 2015 Walter Payton Man of The Year. He had 91 total touchdowns (including playoffs) and nearly 14,000 yards receiving —which places him 14th all-time.
Boldin began his career in Arizona with the Cardinals before his three-year run in Baltimore. He was traded in 2013 to the 49ers and spent three years there before capping his career in 2016 with the Lions.
“It’s definitely an honor to retire a Raven,” Boldin said. “I played for four different organizations, but there’s no other organization, I would say, that had an impact on myself and my family like this organization...I can truly say this organization, this community embraced us fully from the first day we got here.”
While everyone lauded his abilities in the locker room, coach John Harbaugh also praised his ability to make contested catches. In just three years, Boldin make a significant impact on the Ravens receiving corps.
“The fact that you want to retire a Raven is probably one of the biggest honors we’ve had around here,” Harbaugh said to Boldin.
Boldin said an organization never embraced him like the Ravens did for his three years in the purple and black.
“We truly feel like we are Ravens for life,” Boldin said. “We appreciate you guys for accepting us.”
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