Anquan Boldin waited last year, the calendar flipping through spring workouts, organized team activities and mini-camp sessions into the summer when finally, a day before the Lions’ first practice of training camp, he signed a one-year contract.
This off-season, Boldin is a free agent again.
He seems content with following a similar path.
The wide receiver said Thursday that, while eager to play a 15th NFL season, he is in no rush to change his free-agent status. Boldin likely won’t “sign with a team until closer to training camp,” according to Jamey Eisenberg of CBS. The Lions and Ravens are among the teams to have expressed interest.
Boldin’s personal timeline didn’t keep Lions nose tackle Haloti Ngata from attempting to lure him. Ngata appeared Friday at Boldin’s charity golf tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla., wearing a Lions team polo and team hat. He called it “definitely a recruiting trip.”
“I want to make sure he still remembers us,” Ngata said to Eisenberg. “If he comes back, it will be fun.”
Boldin remains a steady possession receiver.
At age 36, of course, his stats are due to fade some.
He caught 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016. The production continued a trend in which his average yards per reception has dropped in each of the past five years. It fell from a career-high 15.6 yards in 2011 to 14.2, 13.9, 12.8, 11.4 and last year’s 8.7 rate that marked a career low.
Ranking ninth in NFL history in career receptions (1,076) and 14th in yards (13,779), Boldin declared in March his intent to play a 15th season.
He’ll turn 37 in October.