Just 13 days after signing with the Buffalo bills, veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin has left the team and is retiring.
Boldin released a statement to ESPN on his decision, saying that football has given him the platform to “have a greater impact on [his] humanitarian work” and that his “life’s purpose is bigger than football.”
Statement from Anquan Boldin on his decision to retire: pic.twitter.com/z19jekK33R
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) August 21, 2017
“Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority,” Boldin said in a statement to ESPN.com. “My life’s purpose is bigger than football.”
While the sudden retirement is rather shocking, Boldin’s reasoning for it certainly isn’t. Boldin is known for his work in the community, and was even given the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award for 2015.
Boldin has put together a tremendous 14-year NFL career, with 1,076 receptions, 82 touchdown receptions, and 13,779 yards receiving. He’s been named to three Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl with the 2012 Ravens.
The 36-year-old no longer has the same skills as his prime, star years, but he was still expected to be a big part of the Bills’ offense; he was even working with the first-team offense. Boldin’s been able to make up for a decrease in speed and athleticism with terrific route running, hands, and strength. He put together a very solid 2016 season with the Detroit Lions, with 67 receptions, 584 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Additionally, this comes after the Bills traded their No. 1 wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, to the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 11 (though the Bills did acquire Jordan Matthews from the Eagles… in exchange for their top cornerback, Ronald Darby). This is putting quarterback Tyrod Taylor in a difficult position and the Bills will surely be relying on running back LeSean McCoy a ton this season.
Boldin was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals out of Florida State in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft, and spent his first seven seasons with the team, forming a terrific wide receiver duo with Larry Fitzgerald. He also played three season with the Ravens and three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.