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Boldin, Cardinals at impasse on contract talks

  • By Associated Press
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After lobbying for a new contract during training camp, Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin has requested a trade.


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin asked to be traded, saying he doesn't feel his situation can be resolved and declaring he has no relationship with coach Ken Whisenhunt.

"I'm a football player. That's about it," Boldin said Tuesday when asked to characterize his dealings with the coach these days.

A team spokesman said the Cardinals have no plans to trade the sixth-year standout and still hope to sign him to a contract extension.

Anquan Boldin, WR
Arizona Cardinals

2007 Statistics:
Receptions: 71
Yards: 853
Touchdowns: 9

Whisenhunt sounded puzzled when discussing reports that Boldin had said he was no longer speaking to the coach.

"We've been communicating," he said. "If communicating is talking, that's what we have been doing at practice. As we go forward, I don't know. I don't foresee anything changing. If it does, it's in his court."

Boldin offered a glimpse of his talent late in Tuesday's workout, splitting a pair of defenders on a slant route during a 2-minute drill. He made a nimble catch on a bullet thrown by Kurt Warner for a 25-yard gain.

But with training camp starting to wind down, Boldin made it sound as if it was a tortured three weeks off the field.

The two-time Pro Bowl player, who blasted team officials as camp opened, claims the Cardinals reneged on an offer to re-negotiate his contract.

He has three years left on the four-year, $22.75 million extension he signed after the 2005 season that keeps him under contract through 2010. He's making an average of $4 million a year.

"It's a tough situation, especially when you come into a working environment," Boldin said after practice. "But my job is to stay professional. I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do."

Although Boldin previously denied asking for a trade, he said Tuesday that his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has asked the Cardinals to consider it now.

"At the beginning of camp, I hadn't asked for a trade," Boldin said. "As of recently, we did."

Asked if he believes his standoff with Arizona can be resolved, Boldin shook his head and simply said, "No."

Teammate Larry Fitzgerald signed a four-year $40 million, deal after last season, with $30 million guaranteed, but Boldin has said he believes Fitzgerald earned the deal and that's not why he's unhappy.

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Boldin is one of the NFL's top receivers. He reached 400 career receptions faster than any other player, doing it in 67 games. In five seasons, Boldin has 413 receptions for 5,458 yards and 29 touchdowns.

"If I'm not going to be treated fairly, if my hard work and loyalty isn't going to be rewarded here, then let me go somewhere where it's going to be rewarded. That's how I feel," Boldin said.

Boldin accused Whisenhunt of getting too involved with his contract talks, suggesting that's why they haven't moved forward, but he wasn't specific.

"That's where it became a problem," Boldin said. "Honestly, I think it should be completely separated. I think that's why we have a department that deals with that."

Whisenhunt said it's not an issue, noting that it's not unusual for NFL players to lobby for a new contract through the media.

"Nothing has changed from a few weeks ago," Whisenhunt said. "I feel the exact same way about Anquan. He is a good football player. The Cardinals have extended his contract once, tried to do it again, and our intent is to do it the first chance we get."

Boldin said he's not worried about whether the dispute could hurt his reputation with fans.

"Anybody that knows me, that knows what kind of guy I am, they know I'm a hard worker," he said. "I'm a guy that does the right things, on and off the field. I'm not worried about my reputation being tarnished for me telling the truth."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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