Anquan Boldin Receives Ultimatum From Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have thrown an ultimatum into the hands of wide receiver Anquan Boldin: Take a pay cut or be released Tuesday and hit the free-agent market, according to Fox Sports.

Boldin is entering the final year of his contract and is scheduled to earn $6 million in base salary in 2013. He currently has a cap of $7,531,250 that the Ravens would like to reduce, since they only have around $10 million available in cap space. In restructuring Boldin’s contract, the Ravens will increase their chances of re-signing free-agent safety Ed Reed and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

The 32-year-old Boldin became Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s hottest target during the postseason. Boldin caught 22 passes for 380 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Since being traded from the Arizona Cardinals in 2010, he has led Baltimore in receiving yards each of the past three seasons. During the 2012 regular season, he caught 65 passes for 921 yards and four touchdowns.

Baltimore was expected to retain Boldin since the team did not have to use the franchise tag on Flacco, who signed a six-year, $120.6 million deal on Monday.

During a February interview with NBC Sports Radio, shortly after the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII 34-31, Boldin said that he would retire if he were released this offseason. Linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk have already retired and Baltimore has released guard Bobbie Williams.

However, Boldin may reconsider his decision to retire if he chooses not to restructure his contract or be released. He would be one of the top wide receivers on the free agent market behind Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is expected to sign with the Miami Dolphins when free agency begins next week. Teams such as the Steelers or Houston Texans would likely pursue him.

If the Boldin is not with Ravens next season, they will look for Jacoby Jones to have a bigger impact along with Torrey Smith.

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