After losing both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency, a lot of unknowns and unproven receivers are slated to play significant snaps this coming season. As of now, the top receivers behind A.J. Green are Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, Cody Core, Jake Kumerow, Brandon Tate, Mario Alford and James Wright.
If you take away Green and LaFell, those guys combined to catch a whopping 3 passes in the NFL last year. There's just too much uncertainty at this position for the Bengals not to add one more experienced receiver before training camp opens.
But the market is pretty barren heading into the summer with few quality receivers still available. However, one guy still waiting to be signed possess exactly what the Bengals need in their offense. That's Anquan Boldin, whom the Bengals have already seen plenty of during his great career to know just how much he can impact a game.
Boldin will be 36-years-old in October, but age has been only a number for the former member of the San Francisco 49ers. Boldin caught 83 passes in 2014, then had 69 catches for 789 yards and four touchdowns last season while playing alongside the enigmatic Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert.
Boldin has also done this with a lot of his damage being on contested balls down the field or quick strikes in which he made one or more defenders miss while picking up big yards after the catch, despite his speed being rather limited.
Sound familiar? That's exactly what Marvin Jones was for this offense last year, and while Boldin may be a little longer in the tooth, he would be an adequate addition to help replace Jones, at least for this coming season.
So why is an impact player like Boldin still on the market? Perhaps it's because he wants to make sure he commits to the right team. Back in April, CBS Sports' Jamey Eisenberg did a report on Boldin's offseason, which to this point has been more focused on his off-field charities than trying to find a new football team.
You would think he'd want to lock up a deal to know his future after spending the past three seasons in San Francisco. Boldin isn't worried. He's already visited the Redskins, and he has a few other teams lined up for his services.
For now, he's enjoying his time off with his family and doing work for the Anquan Boldin Foundation. He was just honored as the 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, which is annually presented to a player for excellence on the field who also makes an impact in the community.
He's not ready for retirement, and he knows he can still play. He continues to work out with NFL trainer Tony Villani at XPE Sports in South Florida, and he'll be ready when the right opportunity presents itself. When Boldin had the final three years of his contract with the 49ers voided in February, he had one thing on his mind -- play for a winner.
"I'm taking my time right now," Boldin said. "It's the first time in 13 years I've been a free agent, so I get to pick where I want to go now. I'm definitely going to take my time and make the best decision for me and my family."
Right now, Boldin is part of a mission trip in Haiti that will probably keep him out of any football-related activities for the rest of May.
If anything, that makes Boldin even more attractive of an option for a Bengals franchise that really stresses the importance of life outside of football and making an impact away from the field.
This isn't another T.O. situation where the best receiver on the market heading into the summer is a headcase who 'might' still have something left in the tank, but isn't worth adding to a team that could ruin the chemistry that's been built up. Boldin is the kind of guy that, if anything, will boost the chemistry of this team, and certainly won't have a negative impact.
And then if Boldin doesn't work out, he'll have only been signed to a one-year deal that doesn't cost the Bengals too much and affect their ability to re-sign future free agents of their own.
Then again, it's possible Boldin has reached the point of his career where he's only going to play if someone makes it worth his while. He may be asking for teams to pay him a little more than perhaps he's worth at this point, hoping to land a big deal from a team desperate to get over the hump.
But desperation is something the Bengals don't make decisions based off. They let opportunity come to them, yet, it's still possible Boldin is too good of an opportunity to pass up.