The Runner Sports

Anquan Boldin Joins Buffalo’s Receiving Corps

Monday morning, the NFL learned two things about Anquan Boldin as he signed with the Buffalo Bills. Number one: he is an ageless wonder with more than 13,000 career receiving yards at the age of 36. Number two: he’s better than almost every other receiver in Buffalo.

Boldin signed his one-year, $2.75 million contract¬†that includes more than one million in incentives and made his 15th season official. The signing served as a stark reminder of Boldin’s production while also making most writers frantically search for a list of current Bills receivers. Remember, both Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods have departed for other teams and left Sammy Watkins as the only starter. While extremely talented, Watkins has also missed 11 games in the past two seasons combined. Even now he is a nursing an ankle injury suffered on Sunday. Watkins did return after hurting his ankle, but the point still remains that he has been injury-prone.

So who are the other receivers that will be competing with Boldin? First off, there is a Brandon Tate. The former Bengals and Patriots receiver has always been a threat during kick returns (5,342 yards and two touchdowns with 24.4 yards-per-return) but has struggled as a receiver. Tate has only caught 65 passes for 1,018 yards total in his eight-year career. He will primarily stay as a return man.

Next up is Andre Holmes. In 2014, Homes started 13 games for the Raiders and totaled 693 yards with four touchdowns. A solid year for the receiver, but he was immediately surpassed by Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Despite having two seasons with 201 and 126 receiving yards on his resume, Holmes has still shown potential to be a solid number two receiver. He is a bigger target at 6-feet-4-inches, and he has shown an ability to make tough catches. Holmes does have an advantage in this battle in that he is primarily an outside receiver. Boldin works in the slot.

The third member of this competition is Rod Streater, another former Oakland Raiders receiver. Like Holmes, Streater started his Raiders career strong with 584 and 888 receiving yards in consecutive seasons, but essentially disappeared with the appearance of new receivers and various injuries. He lost two seasons in Oakland before eventually signing with the 49ers for one season. In San Francisco, Streater was more of a reserve player with only 191 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and that role shouldn’t change in Buffalo. Streater will most likely battle with former teammate Holmes for that number two receiver spot but could also see some playing time if Watkins deals with any injuries.

Granted, all three of those receivers could fight with Boldin for that slot receiver spot, but Tate is the most likely to compete for his spot. No matter what happens, Boldin will still earn his starting spot. Just look at his stats. Boldin has 82 career touchdowns, a testament to his status as a red zone monster. He has never been the quickest or flashiest receiver, but that hasn’t kept the former Cardinals star from abusing defensive backs. Boldin just uses precise route running and sheer brute force to make plays. More importantly, Boldin has that veteran status that commands respect and keeps young bucks in line. He will also be the ultimate security blanket for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Boldin will see his first action in a Bills uniform this Thursday when Buffalo hosts the Minnesota Vikings.

Follow Me

John Newby

A Minnesota Vikings fan from Oregon who writes about the Houston Texans and discusses nerdy topics.
Quite fond of my wife, video games, and Blue Heelers.
Follow Me