Kurt Warner, coaching in Sunday's Assist4Africa charity basketball game, talks with teammate Steve Breaston before tipoff.
Anquan Boldin traded? Larry Fitzgerald smiled and shook his head.
"He's staying," Fitzgerald said. "He's not going anywhere."
Steve Breaston, the third of the Cardinals' 1000-yard wide receivers, was taking a similar no-change approach.
"I don't really think of him not being here," Breaston said, before adding with a grin of his own, "I mean, until it happens … as long as he's still with us, I don't really care right now."
But the man who throws the passes, quarterback Kurt Warner, is definitely thinking about any potential Boldin trade. And he acknowledged he is worried about such a development.
"I have been worried from day one, just from the fact there is any talk at all," said Warner, who along with Fitzgerald and Breaston were taking part in the Assist4Africa charity basketball game at U.S. Airways Center. "I want to continue to build off of what we did last year and I just know Q is a huge part of that."
The Cardinals announced publicly last week they would listen to trade offers for their three-time Pro Bowl wideout, who has been upset with the organization because they have not reworked his contract. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team's first option remains to keep Boldin and at some point give him a new deal. But general manager Rod Graves also said it was "prudent" for the team to keep every option open.
Warner said he has been vocal in letting everyone know – from Boldin to Whisenhunt to management – where he stands. Windows of opportunity don't open for long in the NFL, Warner said, and he doesn't want the Cardinals' window to close prematurely.
But Warner also understands Boldin's desire for a better deal.
"I just want to make sure we are all on the same page, and I think we are," Warner said. "The bottom line is, for us to be everything we can be, everybody has got to be happy and everyone has to benefit from it. If that's not the case, than keeping it together just to keep it together doesn't necessarily pay dividends."
Warner has heard the potential draft pick bounty Boldin might fetch in a trade, but isn't sure that necessarily works if the Cards move a "special player" like Boldin.
"Whether you get a first-round draft pick, or a first and a third, or two first-round picks, it sounds good, but every first-round draft pick isn't a special player," Warner said. "It doesn't work that way, and that's one of my biggest concerns. I want to make sure he is happy, but I also want everyone to know you don't replace those guys on a whim."
Until a deal is consummated, the trade speculation is going to continue full speed – it is the hottest non-draft topic in the NFL right now – until the draft.
If Boldin isn't traded by the draft, the chance he will be moved drops dramatically.
"It's hard to ignore," Breaston said. "I am just working out and doing the things I do. We're always told things can change, so you just have to be ready. Everybody wants Q to be a part of this."
Fitzgerald, who played in Boldin's charity basketball game in Florida Friday night before coming back for the game in Phoenix Sunday, said Boldin is tired of being asked about the topic. But after Fitzgerald faced similar queries about this time last year while he was in the middle of his own sticky contract situation, Fitzgerald said he thinks his teammate can have his own happy ending in Arizona.
"I know where Q is at, because last year for me it was the same thing, a lot of smoke being blown," Fitzgerald said. "Hopefully it passes and we can all stay together."
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 4/19/09.