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Boldin's future unclear as Cardinals take calls about possible trades

  • By Associated Press
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have received inquiries from "quite a few teams" about disgruntled wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and more conversations are anticipated as draft day approaches.

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Anquan Boldin's tenure in Arizona might be over by the end of the week.

But Cardinals general manager Rod Graves and coach Ken Whisenhunt repeatedly emphasized at the team's pre-draft news conference Tuesday that they would be happy to keep Boldin and eventually try to sign him to a new contract.

"Quite a few teams have called, but we have no offers from those teams," Graves said. "Anything can evolve from this point through draft day, so that's where it is right now."

Speaking to reporters at his charity event in Florida last week, Boldin appeared open to staying with the Cardinals, a departure from earlier requests to be traded.

"I didn't say a trade was necessary," Boldin said. "I just want something to get resolved. It's something that's gone on long enough."

Boldin expressed his extreme displeasure in last season's training camp, accusing Cardinals management of failing to follow through on a promise of a new contract and vowing never to re-sign with the team. Still, he went on to have his third Pro Bowl season in six years in the NFL as the Cardinals advanced to Super Bowl XLIII.

"We never said we were trying to trade Anquan," Whisenhunt said. "See, that's been the perception that's out there. All we've said was that we were willing to listen to offers."

Any offer would be weighed against the option of attempting to extend Boldin's contract, Graves said.

"The ultimate goal is to do what's in the best interest of the team," Graves said. "It's just something that we decided to take a look at, but we feel very highly about him as a player and what he means to our football team. I think that if there were to be consideration of doing anything, it would certainly have to be for commensurate value."

Asked if it would be unlikely to receive equal value for a player of Boldin's talent, Graves said, "That remains to be seen."

"If not, he's an outstanding player that's a member of our football team, and we're happy to continue with him," Graves said.

The Cardinals would be expected to want at least what the Detroit Lions received from the Dallas Cowboys for wide receiver Roy Williams -- a first-, a third- and a sixth-round round pick. Dallas also acquired Detroit's seventh-round pick as part of that deal last year.

Boldin has two years remaining on a four-year, $22.25 million contract. He earned $4 million last season. By comparison, teammate Larry Fitzgerald is in the second season of a four-year, $40 million deal, with $30 million guaranteed. Fitzgerald and quarterback Kurt Warner have said they would be open to altering their contracts in order to keep Boldin.

Graves repeated that contract talks with representatives of linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Adrian Wilson must be resolved before attention would turn to Boldin. That might not be until 2010.

Whisenhunt brushed aside any possible concerns that Boldin's attitude would be a problem if he isn't traded and doesn't receive a new contract.

"We've gone through a year, gone through a successful season with Anquan, he's gone to the Pro Bowl," Whisenhunt said. "He's played well for us, and I have no expectations of not having the same thing."

Meanwhile, Edgerrin James' status with the Cardinals rests on what the team does in this weekend's draft. If Arizona takes a running back with its No. 31 pick, or maybe even one in the second round, expect James to be released next week, something he wanted to happen long ago.

"I still believe Edge is a productive running back and was a big part of our success last year," Graves said. "We would certainly want to feel like we were in a position where we've improved enough to move forward before making any decision.

"That doesn't necessarily mean that we would have to take a running back high in order to do that. We'll evaluate our draft and where we are as a team and make some decisions about that next week some time."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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