Updated Apr 15, 2009 - 9:26 pm
Burns: The Cards are doing the right thing
Like the guy who smokes two packs of cigs a day who finally admits he needs to quit, the Arizona Cardinals have finally admitted that, yes, they'll listen to teams who are interested in Anquan Boldin.
The Cardinals have steadfastly and stubbornly refused to say they'll move their receiver, instead of insisting that they want to sign him long term. Call it posturing, call it denial, call it bluffing. The Cards were telling anybody who would listen that Boldin wasn't going anywhere.
But Wednesday Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt admitted "it would be foolish from our standpoint not to listen to those opportunities and see what actually exists."
In other words: You want him? Hit us with an offer.
If they're going to move him, now is the time. The NFL Draft is in a week and a half. The Cards will surely get/want a pick or two for him. Making the whole world know he can be had now, gives you time to acquire those picks and formulate a plan on how to use them.
It's not exactly the Broncos making Jay Cutler available - the Cardinals are being a little more subtle than that - but it's close.
Unlike the Cardinals, my position hasn't changed on this issue since last August. Move him. Dangle him and see what receiver-hungry team offers up the most for him.
The Cardinals are a pass-first offense, there is no doubt. And the duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Boldin perfectly fits that identity.
But ask yourself this. When did the Cardinals play their best football last year? (January)
And how instrumental was Boldin during that stretch? (not very)
In the three playoff games Boldin played in (he missed the Panthers game), he averaged about 63 yards receiving per game. Take away his long touchdown catch against the Falcons and it dips to 37 yards per game.
He was hurt, sure, but that's not the point. The point being...they didn't need him. When he gets into that shouting match with Todd Haley during the NFC title game, he's upset because the Cardinals decided they could win the game without him. And sure enough they did.
Larry Fitzgerald kicked down the door to stardom last year. In the middle of that awakening it dawned on us. Boldin is a luxury that the Cards don't have to have. The fans saw it during the run to the Super Bowl. Boldin saw it when he wasn't on the field against the Eagles.
There is a certain amount of shrewdness you need in the NFL. It requires tough decisions. Do you think the Patriots would commit huge dollars to two wide receivers? The Steelers?
I don't either. And the Cards are doing the right thing.
P.S. - I jotted down a "W" or "L" next to each game when I saw the Cards schedule. After I added them all up, I had an 11-5 record staring at me. Let's assume I'm still trippin' on the Super Bowl high and being a little generous. Fine. 10-6. But I still think it could be 11-5.
What do you think?