Anquan Boldin, the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year honoree, is joining the Detroit Lions. The veteran receiver agreed to a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
On Tuesday evening, Boldin made it official on Twitter:
This coming season, I am excited to announce that I have chosen to play for the @Lions and reunite with Coach Caldwell for another run.— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) July 26, 2016
The @Lions are a great young team that I hope I can help lead back to the playoffs with a goal of a championship for my new fans in Detroit.— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) July 26, 2016
Boldin landed with the Arizona Cardinals as a second-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and ended up being named the 2003 Offensive Rookie of the Year. The three-time Pro Bowler spent the first seven years of his career in Arizona before being traded to the Baltimore Ravens prior to the 2010 season.
In three seasons with the Ravens, Boldin helped them to three consecutive postseason appearances. In 2012, Boldin had 145 receiving yards and a touchdown on five receptions against the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round. His 104 receiving yards and one touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII helped the Ravens secure their 34-31 victory.
Boldin was traded to the 49ers prior to the 2013 season, and in his first regular season game with San Francisco, he had 208 receiving yards and a touchdown. Boldin finished the season with 1,179 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, and was named one of the team MVPs (along with NaVorro Bowman) for the 2013 season.
Boldin was productive again in 2014, finishing the season with 1,062 receiving yards and five touchdowns. In 2015, with instability at the quarterback position and missing two games due to injury, Boldin had just 789 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Detroit hosted Boldin for a workout in June, but the team waited until now to sign him. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints also demonstrated interest in the 35-year-old receiver.
The Lions lost Calvin Johnson to retirement following the 2015 season, and though they did add Marvin Jones in free agency, they certainly have room for a veteran presence like Boldin to help fill the void left by Johnson. Boldin has an existing connection with Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, who was the offensive coordinator during Boldin's stint with the Ravens.