A month ago, Boldin was prepared to retire if his career ever reached the point where he would have to play for another team. Now that the Ravens have given the veteran an ultimatum to take either a pay cut or his walking papers, Boldin is forcing their hand.
Boldin has rejected a proposal by the team to reduce his 2013 salary without an extension, USA Today reported, and is preparing to hit the open market as a free agent. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport is told it's a "cash issue" as opposed to a cap issue.
"Once he's decided, you might as well try to move the Rock of Gibraltar," a person with knowledge of the negotiations told USA Today.
Asked about Boldin's retirement comments, the person explained, "I think he was trying to express loyalty to them. I know that he's hoping to stay with them, but he's willing to go someplace else."
Coming off a dominant postseason run with 22 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns as Joe Flacco's go-to receiver in clutch situations, Boldin still has plenty to offer a contender. If the Ravens do cut him loose, the 32-year-old would fall in alongside Wes Welker in the second tier of free-agent wide receivers behind Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings.Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.