Update: This post and hypothetical discussion may be for naught, as Peter Kings reports that the Ravens are close to a deal for Boldin.
Update #2: The Ravens are reviewing Boldin's medical history, indicating that a deal may be eminent.
Final Update: Adam Schefter reports Boldin and 5th round pick to Baltimore for a 3rd and 4th. What a bargain. What cheapskates Blackburn is today. No play on Boldin, pissing off Rosenhaus... great.
Early reports indicated that the Patriots were frontrunners for Anquan Boldin, with the potential for Bill Belicheck's interest to wane. And wane it did, the Patriots dropped out of the Boldin race fairly recently according to a league source, per RavensInsider. That leaves two teams in the running for Boldin: Baltimore and the Kansas City Chiefs. If you're Anquan Boldin, which team do you prefer? Not that he has any say in the matter, but Baltimore may be a little more aggressive if they think they can make Boldin a big part of their future.
Now, I think Boldin would be particularly dangerous for the Bengals if they idly sat by as he signed in Baltimore. While the Bengals do have a need at receiver and Boldin isn't necessarily the greatest fit, competitively, keeping him out of Baltimore could make acquiring him the best move of the off-season. At worst, the Bengals may at least drive up the price on Boldin to either force Baltimore out of consideration or lower its resources in this year's draft and in acquiring restricted free agents.
Essentially, it's a two-fold argument. I don't want to see the Ravens pick up Pro Bowl quality WR talent on the cheap, especially when he looks like a great fit with a young quarterback that needs weapons, and the Bengals have a need at the same position. The Ravens making this move would really show their organizational superiority to the Bengals. They need a receiver and they're going out and making a hard push to get one of the better players available. The Bengals could show some major gusto by coming out of left field to make a push for Boldin. The move would go a long way in shoring up our receiving corps and helping sustain divisional superiority to the Ravens.
The question is this - is it worth the cost? Who knows what the Bengals would have to give up to keep him out of a Ravens uniform. Is it really that scary for Boldin to be a Raven? I'd argue so, they haven't had a younger-than-30 skill player as exciting as him at the WR position.. ever. What do you think - and what do you think is the right reason for doing so - should the Bengals go after Boldin?