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Gambo: I expect Boldin to be dealt at the right price

I fully expect to turn on the microphone next Monday and be discussing the Cardinals’ trading of star wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Somehow I think that one of the teams interested in acquiring Boldin will step up their offer to meet the Cardinals demand of a first and third rounder.

Both Baltimore and the New York Giants have said publicly that Arizona needs to come down off of their offer in order to make a deal work.

The Ravens would be willing to part with a first rounder or a second rounder and a player. Philadelphia and Miami are also interested and the Dolphins could trade Ronnie Brown.

All it takes is one team to want Boldin bad enough for a deal to happen. But say that no team is willing to fork over a package deemed worthy by the Cardinals brass. Does Arizona make a deal just to trade Boldin knowing they are not getting back fair value?

The answer needs to be no and the Cardinals need to come out this week and let the rest of the NFL know that it’s a first and third rounder or no deal.

There is nothing that says the Cardinals have to deal Boldin. He is under contract for two more years at a very reasonable price and he gives the Cardinals the best chance to win now. And winning now should be the Cardinals first priority. This team is not building towards the future, they are trying to win it all in 2009-10. If they can make a deal that they believe will allow them to be more competitive this year by getting picks that allow them to address needs such as running back, linebacker and defensive line then fine deal Boldin.

If the packages being offered lack substance then hold Boldin to his contract. It was fine when Boldin re-did his deal in 2005 and pocketed some $10 million in bonuses. He opted for the security then and the Cardinals were willing to give it to him knowing they had him locked up through the 2010-11 season.

Now Boldin wants a new deal or he wants out. Unfortunately for him, he holds none of the cards. He has very little pull outside of threatening to hold out of training camp, missing a few games and being disgruntled. He is set to make some $6 million over the next two years which is not chump change.

Sure it is undermarket for a receiver of his caliber, but tough. If he didnt’ want to play for the money on the table now he shouldn’t have accepted a contract extension in 2005. He should have played out his original rookie deal and then hit free agency. But he couldn’t wait for the big bucks so he gladly took the Cardinals millions and the security that came with it.

His situation is not that different than that of D-backs pitcher Brandon Webb who signed a below-market deal of 4 years and $19.5 million in 2006 in order to get security. While Webb is unhappy with the current contract you don’t hear him whining and complaining and demanding a trade. More teams need stick to their guns and hold players accountable for the contracts they sign.

Sure the NFL has the right to cut a player at any time for any reason, but that is a collective bargaining issue for the players. Rules are rules and the players agreed to those rules. So while trading Boldin is a priority it should only be done if the Cardinals get back the first and third rounder they are seeking. Anything less or any package of picks and players that does not help the Cardinals now and Boldin should remain a Cardinal. Unhappy or not he is a great receiver in his prime and the Cardinals have his rights for two more years.