Anquan Boldin had just stepped off the plane in Senegal this week when he found out he had been traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the San Francisco 49ers. Boldin is overseas with fellow wide receivers Roddy White and Larry Fitzgerald doing work with Oxfam International. He says he thought his worst-case scenario was that he’d be released, but all of the sudden wound up being dealt.
Anquan Boldin joined WNST in Baltimore with Glenn Clark to discuss some charity work with Oxfam International in Senegal, the surprise that came with being traded this week, prior negotiations with the Ravens and his new situation with the 49ers.
What’s it like when you, Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White start walking around Senegal?:
“Some people have recognized us, others just think, ‘Big guys.’ I think the people that we come across are real appreciative of the efforts that we’re doing over here. We went to one village yesterday where we bought like gates and fences for a local village to keep different animals out — hippos and other animals from killing their vegetation and their crops.”
How difficult it is it to be on a trip halfway around the world when you’re dealing with the football stuff that has gone on this week?:
“It’s been tough, I can’t lie about that. For me, the way that I found out was probably even worse. I found out when I got off the plane in Senegal, I found out that I had been traded, which was definitely unexpected. I don’t think anyone wants to find out that way.”
Can you shed some light on talks that Baltimore was trying to work on a new deal with you and when you realized something might be going on?:
“I think, for me, initially I heard that they wanted me to take a pay cut … which I thought was unfair. I didn’t understand why, but I understand that’s the business part of football. If you can get a guy for cheap, why not try? I can’t blame them for trying. Then I got a couple phone calls from coaches and I talked to Coach Harbaugh … and it was more of a situation that we were going to try to get something done. I expressed to him that I wanted to be in Baltimore and he expressed to me that that’s where he wanted me. … Like I said, I get to Senegal and find out I’ve been traded to San Fran.”
Did you ask about maybe working out a new deal instead of taking a straight pay cut or was that just not an option?:
“My agent talked to them, but like I said, the last time I talked to Coach Harbaugh, it was more like, ‘We’ll see what we can do.’ … There was never a trade talk. At first it was, take a $2 million cut or be released. If anything, worst-case scenario for me, I figured I would have been released, but not traded.”
On reports that he at one point said if he wasn’t playing for the Ravens, he’d retire:
“At this point, I just felt like retirement, it wasn’t the time. I said that, and at the time I said it, I meant it, but I just feel like right now is not the time to retire.”
Now that it’s had time to sink in, are you excited about going to San Francisco?:
“I think the thing for me, I’ve just been trying to commit myself fully to … being over here in Senegal. I’ll deal with that situation when I get back, the situation I am in in San Francisco is a good situation for me and my family. It’s a great organization. … It’s a team that wins. At the point I am in my career right now, that’s all you can ask for.”