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Joe Flacco: Anquan Boldin trade cost Ravens a leader

Members of the Baltimore Ravens walked a purple carpet on Monday night as part of the premiere screening of the DVD release documenting their run to the Super Bowl XLVII title.

Once players settled into their seats, they were treated to a retrospective that featured plenty of highlights of Anquan Boldin, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the day.

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We imagine watching Boldin dominate in the playoffs was strange given the sudden circumstances of his departure. The wide receiver became a natural topic of discussion at the event.

"Anquan was a great receiver for myself and for our football team for this whole organization," said quarterback Joe Flacco, who a day earlier backed Boldin's decision to refuse a pay cut. "It's sad to see a guy like that go, but at the same time you want what's best for him and you just wish him the best of luck."

"You lose a lot of things, you lose a leader, you lose that fire," Flacco added. "Most importantly, you lose a really good player and a guy that's done it over and over again."

Wide receiver Torrey Smith looked up to Boldin in the first two seasons of his NFL career.

"It's tough for everyone," Smith said. "Not just myself, obviously there might be a little more responsibility but I had that last year and the year before that. It's definitely hard. The biggest thing is not so much about football, when you lose someone like that, a mentor, a big brother, a someone you love like a brother and would do anything for him. It's tough."

Parting ways with Boldin might have been a necessary evil for the Ravens, but it certainly leaves a void on the roster that goes beyond his on-field production.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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