The Buffalo Bills signed 36-year old veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to a one-year contract on Monday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Boldin originally reached an agreement with Buffalo last week before backing out but ultimately signing Monday a deal that will pay him $2.75 million while having incentives that could see Boldin earn up to $4 million.
MoranAlytics Take: Let’s not kid ourselves here, Bills fans—-Boldin’s a Buffalo Bill because there wasn’t another team in the league willing to sign him. There’s no way a 15-year veteran closer to 40 than 30 is inking a one-year contract with a team not expected to contend for a championship unless he lacks other options. Also, I’m not jumping around and doing somersaults over any aging receiver joining the team. Like it or hate it all you want—the Bills offense will sink or swim on the legs of Lesean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor.
A friend of this blog, Michael broke his long Twitter hiatus to tweet on the signing—soiled with sarcasm yet painfully true..
anytime you can sign a 36 soon to be 37 y/o WR to play on a run heavy offense w/ an average to below average QB you gotta do it.
— ?Michael? (@manecci) August 7, 2017
Having said that, there’s plenty I like about Boldin. First and foremost he’s solid insurance in case Sammy Watkins can’t stay on the field. You can have training camp dreams of Andre Holmes, Rod Streater or Philly Brown all you want but if Watkins goes down the Bills are screwed. With Boldin in tow at least they’re a little less screwed without Sammy.
Secondly, Boldin’s a pro’s pro and great mentor for rookie Zay Jones. Having a guy with 15 seasons under his belt and 13,799 receiving yards (14th in NFL history) commands respect. He’ll help Jones on and off the field.
Lastly, Boldin still has the ability to play at a decent level. He had 67 grabs for 584 yards and eight touchdowns with the Detroit Lions last year. By no means is he a downfield threat, but he can get make chain-moving grabs and effectively work the middle of the field — assuming Taylor has the balls to start working that area more in 2017.
You have to give credit to general manager Brandon Beane on this one—with an assist to the 31 other teams not wanting to sign Boldin. On paper the Bills have plenty of “weapons” with McCoy, Watkins, Jones, Charles Clay and now Boldin.
Unfortunately it won’t mean shit unless Taylor develops more accuracy delivering them the ball.