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Former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin is retiring, to fight for human rights

Buffalo Bills' Anquan Boldin warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Former Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin will call it a career after 14 NFL seasons, ESPN’s Jim Trotter first reported.

In a statement, Boldin said he wanted to commit his time to humanitarian work and fight for human rights. He added that his “life’s purpose is bigger than football.”

The news comes as a surprise and three days after Boldin caught a pass for the Buffalo Bills in the team’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Boldin, the 54th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2003 NFL Draft, is second in Arizona’s record book with 586 receptions, behind Larry Fitzgerald’s 1,125.

Additionally, Boldin is fourth in franchise history with 7,520 receiving yards and holds the second spot for most receiving yards in a single game with 217 yards against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7, 2003 — his first NFL game.

The 2003 Offensive Rookie of the Year — he still holds the NFL rookie record with 101 receptions that season — three-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion also won the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

He is ninth in NFL history in total receptions (1,076) and 14th in receiving yards (13,779).

The 36-year-old spent the first seven years of his professional career suiting up for the Cardinals. He then joined the Baltimore Ravens from 2010-12 before playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2013-15. Boldin played with the Lions last year.

According to Pro Football Focus’ Nathan Jahnke, Boldin recorded 3,495 yards after the catch. That ranks third, behind Wes Welker and Fitzgerald.

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