KO OLINA, Hawaii — Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wideout Anquan Boldin’s frustration with management’s failure to keep its word on redoing his contract last offseason has reached the boiling point.
What’s more, Boldin’s unhappiness could impact free agent quarterback Kurt Warner’s decision to return. Boldin indicated an irreparable rift exists with management that could force him to ask anew to be traded after expressing the same sentiment in the preseason.
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“I don’t think the relationship can be repaired with the organization,” Boldin told USA TODAY after Thursday’s NFC practice for Sunday’s Pro Bowl. “It takes more than, ‘Well, we did you wrong and we’ll pay you this.’ It’s not about the money. It was always about the principle. Guys being true to their word. I guess I was expected to uphold my end of the bargain, and it wasn’t reciprocated.”
Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill said before the Super Bowl, “We view (Anquan) as one of our core players. We’ve tried to work with him to restructure his deal and extend it.
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Boldin, Warner, wideout Larry Fitzgerald, safety Adrian Wilson and special-teamer Sean Morey arrived in Honolulu on Wednesday night, three days after Boldin had eight catches for 84 yards in Arizona’s 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Boldin caught 89 regular-season passes for 1,038 yards and a career-best 11 touchdowns despite missing two games after a Sept. 28 hit required seven titanium facial plates and 40 titanium screws to repair multiple facial injuries. He has two years left on his $22.75 million deal at $2.75 million and $3 million.
Management awarded Fitzgerald a four-year, $40 million deal, but Boldin said he was misled about an extension.
“We’ve been talking to them for two years, and they still haven’t made anything happen,” Boldin said.
Will Boldin ask for a trade?
“I’ll deal with my agent and see what we have to do,” he said, referring to representative Drew Rosenhaus, who declined to comment when contacted. “But my feelings won’t change.”
Fitzgerald then walked in and said, “Q (Boldin’s nickname), you’ll be back. You wouldn’t look good in any other uniform.”
Warner told Boldin he wants him back and thinks cooler heads can still prevail.
Arizona is $40 million under the salary cap.
“It’s too key to our success to let Anquan go,” Warner said. “I don’t know if I’m leaning either direction. But (Boldin’s situation) is going to be a key piece to it, whether we can do something as a team like this year.
“If we can keep that together, that excites me about the possibility of coming back. If not, there will be a lot of struggles to overcome that’ll make it harder.”