The Buffalo Bills’ offense struggled under quarterback Tyrod Taylor last Thursday. The preseason matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles showed the team’s wide receiver weakness. The position got even weaker yesterday evening when Anquan Boldin announced his retirement from the NFL. Recently signing a one-year contract with the Bills, the veteran had only been with the team for 2 weeks. With Buffalo’s top wide receiver Sammy Watkins traded to the Los Angeles Rams, the new Jordan Matthews hurt, and Rod Streater fighting a toe injury, Boldin’s absence leaves a huge gap in the team’s wide receiver group. Buffalo needs to do something to get Taylor back on track with his wide receivers.

A Stellar Career for Boldin

Boldin walks away from the game having made his mark on the NFL. Drafted in 2003 by the Arizona Cardinals, Boldin ended his rookie year with 1377 receiving yards and 101 catches, as stated by Pro Football. Those are great numbers for a new player. He has remained consistent for 14 years and has 13,779 yards, 1076 total catches, and 82 touchdowns. Boldin played his only game with Buffalo last week. He caught one pass for 5 yards. Besides Buffalo, the wide receiver played for the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and the Detroit Lions.

Boldin helped the Ravens get a Super Bowl win in 2013. A clutch catch by Boldin helped seal a victory against the 49ers.

The young Bills team was standing to benefit from Boldin’s veteran leadership and excellence off the field. According to the NY Daily News, Boldin said that he wants to focus more on human rights and advocacy work versus playing football. It would not be the first time that the star tried to better the world. He won the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year award two years ago. Unlike many of today’s players, Boldin kept his nose clean and out of trouble.

Bills Need Receiver Help

While General Manager Brandon Beane is supportive of Boldin’s decision, the loss of Boldin slices their wide receiving core even more. When they traded their top guy Sammy Watkins to the Rams over a week ago, Beane was comfortable in the fact that Boldin was signed. When questioned by sports reporters whether the team was tanking, Beane told Pro Football talk that he would not have signed Boldin if he wanted to tank the team. Whether Beane wanted to tank or not, it seems to be happening on its own.

Newly acquired Jordan Matthews is out with a chipped sternum. That leaves rookie Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, Streater, and Corey Brown on the roster. None of these guys seem to have great chemistry with Taylor, who needs to get it together fast. It is possible that the Bills may sign another veteran receiver before the season starts.

Did Watkins trade push Boldin out the door?

As stated on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Boldin wanted to win another championship ring. With Watkins and cornerback Ronald Darby gone, Buffalo’s playoff chances dropped off.

That may have influenced Boldin to hang up his cleats early, as well as Taylor’s horrid 12.0 QB rating last week against the Eagles. Playing for a losing team so far into one’s career is not at the top of anyone’s list.

Good luck to you, Anquan Boldin. Thank you for 14 years of football.

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