After several weeks of speculation and anticipation, the Buffalo Bills officially announced the signing of wide receiver Anquan Boldin on Monday.
Anquan Boldin is in the building! #GoBills
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 7, 2017
It is a one-year, $2.75 million deal that includes $1.25 million in incentives, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The 36 year old has been a reliable target throughout his 14-year NFL career that has included stops with the Cardinals, Ravens, 49ers, and Lions.
TD Boldin-Stafford checks curl to Jones-DBs all in good trail tech. Checks Riddick-bracketed, escapes pocket & makes a RIDICULOUS throw. pic.twitter.com/OADIGASITU
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) April 8, 2017
Boldin spent two years with Tyrod Taylor in Baltimore and played a crucial role in Baltimore’s 2012 Super Bowl run.
While never the fastest player on the field, he was a model of consistency based on effort. His bruising physicality on each play continues to stand out. For the Bills, Boldin will immediately be thrust into a big role with a wide receiving group that needed an upgrade. Many question marks remain at the position after Sammy Watkins and Zay Jones, but the signing of Boldin will give the team depth and an experienced starter that elevates the entire unit.
Boldin is also one of the best receivers in the league at the goal line and in short yardage situations. He caught 41 passes for first downs in Detroit last season, with 20 of those coming on third downs (check out Sam Gold’s video breakdown below).
A majority of his snaps were from the slot (82.9%). His toughness and ability to read coverages will make him a major asset to Tyrod Taylor, much like he was to Matt Stafford. Boldin racked up seven touchdowns from the slot while a Lion, the 2nd most in the NFL that season.
Another area that he will help Taylor is over the middle. In 2016, Boldin caught 34 passes in this area of the field, an area that the offense needs to exploit more often.
With the Bills losing Justin Hunter in free agency and questions about Charles Clay’s health going forward, Boldin steps up as a needed red zone threat.
Despite his age, Boldin has only missed three games over the past five seasons. The Florida State product put up good numbers in Detroit last season, hauling in 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. Those eight touchdowns were four more than any player on the Bills had last season.