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Anquan Boldin Has 'No Bad Feelings' About Cardinals

Former wide receiver is preliminary candidate for Hall of Fame

Former Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin and former safety Adrian Wilson were both part of the preliminary names qualified for the 2022 Hall of Fame discussion this week. It's Wilson's fourth time in -- the 122 names are whittled to 25 and then the final class -- but for Boldin, it is his first year of eligibility.

Q still has a loyal fanbase for his seven years he spent as a Cardinal, having the best statistical years of his career and defining what it meant often to play angry. You would never find a receiver more physical than Boldin. Of course, Q's time with the Cards had a sour ending unfortunately -- his final two seasons, albeit productive with 1,000-yard outputs, two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance, also had over it Boldin's bad feelings because he felt the organization had promised to re-do his contract. He was traded in March of 2010 to Baltimore, and the relationship was frosty.

But Q made an appearance on the "Wolf and Luke" show on Arizona's Sports Station, 98.7, on Thursday, and from his standpoint, he has no issues with the Cardinals any longer, more than a decade after it all went down.

"From my half, there is no bad blood, there is no bad feelings," Boldin said, saying he ran into former Cardinals GM Rod Graves at some owners' meetings and that Graves apologized for "some of the things that happened when I was there."

"The things that happened, that's water under the bridge for me," Boldin added.

Boldin had five of his seven 1,000-yard seasons with the Cards (his other two came playing for the 49ers, his stop after playing for the Ravens where he won a Super Bowl). But it was the way he played that endeared him to so many fans.

"It wasn't a guy who was going to take the punishment, he was going to dish it out," Boldin said. "I like guys like that, guys who are fearless, guys who would do what it takes to win a football game.

"It's a rare trait for a receiver to be considered physical. nowadays, who you consider a physical receiver they say is a receiver who can get off press coverage. Being physical is so much more than that."

It'll be interesting to see what Boldin's Hall of Fame consideration might be like. There are always receivers in the queue given passing offenses of the last 30 years, not to mention all the deserving players at other positions (and in five years, former teammate Larry Fitzgerald looks like he'll be in the discussion.)

"To be honest I really don't think about (Canton) until I'm asked about it," Boldin said. "For me, life goes on, whether you are a Hall of Famer or not. That said, it would be an honor to be selected. That's nothing that you can purchase. That's something that's earned."

Meanwhile, Q will always have a spot in the revitalization of this franchise -- along with Wilson and Fitz and Kurt Warner and Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby and the list goes on -- and that's a role he still cherishes.

"For me, helping take a franchise who, honestly, when I first got into the NFL we were pretty much a laughingstock in the NFL," Boldin said. "I remember at one of my press conferences, people were asking me what were my expectations for the year, and I was so naive as a rookie ... my thing was, come in, have a good season, make it to the playoffs, and when I said the word playoffs, they kind of shushed me, like we don't say that word around here like that.

"Taking the Arizona Cardinals to where they were in 203 to the place we ended up in 2008 and 2009, when we won back-to-back division championships and represented the NFC in the Super Bowl, that was definitely a high point in my career."

WR Anquan Boldin runs upfield after a catch against the Colts in a 2009 home game