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Breaking down the chance of a Boldin trade

I'm not going to describe the ugly scene because a picture is worth a thousand words and, frankly, I don't want to overload the Internet with so many words as it might break or something. So check out Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin going after offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sideline during Sunday's NFC Championship game.


Those eight seconds of boiling rage from Boldin came after months of simmering dissatisfaction the receiver felt while playing well for the Cardinals. Boldin, productive, competitive, and headed to the Super Bowl, is unhappy because he believes the Cardinals reneged on a promise to give him a new contract.

So his goals are to help his team win the Super Bowl and then force his team to trade him.

Boldin's agent, Miami-based Drew Rosenhaus, asked the Cardinals to trade the player on several occasions since July. I know Rosenhaus will make things seem more urgent this offseason -- turning a request into something of a demand.

So Boldin is hoping the Tampa Super Bowl is the first of many he plays in his native Florida this year. That's because Boldin badly wants a new contract, badly wants out of Arizona, and would prefer to play in Florida -- preferably with Miami, and possibly with Tampa or Jacksonville.

So we know Anquan Boldin would welcome the chance to become a Miami Dolphin. But is a trade plausible?

The chances are against it. I would say the chances are about one in ten ... thousand.

I believe the Cardinals might be tempted to move Boldin this offseason for the sake of removing an unhappy player from the locker room. Boldin has been productive and, video above notwithstanding, he is not usually a problem child. But Arizona has one of the two best receivers in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald, another 1,000-yard receiver in Steve Breaston, and the chance to upgrade further in the coming draft if need be.

So the Cardinals would practically have to consider trading Boldin for a first-round pick and other considerations in the coming draft. The team will deny any desire to trade a core player such as Boldin because it sets a bad example that players can get out if they pout. But in truth, considering a trade that returns multiple draft picks makes business sense for the Cardinals.

And Boldin is probably worth multiple picks if you're talking about a late first rounder and possibly a late second-day pick. Remember Wes Welker has brought New England a nice return on their investment of a second- and seventh-round picks. Some GM needing to upgrade a receiver corps will consider it. Some GM out there would likely be willing to do it.

But is that GM's name Jeff Ireland? I seriously doubt it.

Big Tuna Bill Parcells and Tuna Helper Ireland seem convinced they can more effectively upgrade the Dolphins the more traditional way -- through the draft and free agency. Yes, they made several significant trades to upgrade the team last year, but did you see the picks they were willing to give up in those deals?

They gave up a fourth-rounder for Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano. They gave up a sixth-rounder for Jason Ferguson. First day picks? Not in their DNA. 

I grant you, Boldin is not typical bait dangling on the trade line. He is 28, which means he's just about entering his prime. He is a No. 1 receiver, as he has four seasons with at least 1,000 yards or more to his credit, including 2003 before Fitzgerald wason his team. And, although not rocket fast, Boldin is the prototype of what Parcells would love in a pass-catcher: He is 6-1 and 218 pounds of chiseled granite that punishes the secondary with yards after catch as well as good blocking downfield.

From a production standpoint, Boldin would be perfect in Miami.

But here are the problems -- and there are plenty:

1. The Dolphins are trying to be in the business of collecting draft picks, not shipping them elsewhere. They have nine picks in the coming draft, including three in the first two rounds.

2. The sideline outburst in which Boldin ripped into Haley, even as the coach was trying to direct Arizona's game-winning drive, was terrible form. It made Boldin seem more selfish than competitive.

3. The fact Boldin wants out of Arizona only because he wants a new deal has to worry Miami or anyone else considering him. Boldin has two seasons remaining on his current deal, which he signed after the 2005 season. Were the Dolphins to make the trade and give Boldin a new deal, what guarantee would they have that two years from now, the player wouldn't want to start from scratch all over again?

So what we have is a player who will do all he can this offseason to escape a Super Bowl team. He will do all he can to get home to Florida first, but really, get any place that gives him a new contract. We have a local agent who can be very persuasive. And we have a rare talent and production level that is tempting because the draft might not offer an equivalent.

We also have a Super Bowl team that likely would listen to trade offers to rid itself of a disgruntled player while also getting a chance to add valuable draft picks.

And we have a big-play starved Miami offense that could seriously use the upgrade.

It all adds up nicely on paper.

But this deal wouldn't be made on paper. And, considering all the factors involved, I doubt it would be made at all. 

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