Detroit Lions

Free-agent WR Anquan Boldin wants to return for 15th season, in no rush to sign with team

(USA TODAY Sports)

While free-agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin made it clear on Thursday that he wants to return for his 15th season in 2017, he’s in no rush to sign with a team and would be content taking the decision right up to training camp for a second straight year, he told CBS Sports on Thursday.

“I’m still healthy, still going strong,” Boldin said at his charity golf event in his hometown of Pahokee, Florida. “I still have the passion.”

Boldin signed with the Detroit Lions right before training camp last year and fit in immediately in a spread-around passing game. He finished with 67 catches for 584 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns while playing all 16 games. That moved him to fourth in NFL history with 13,779 receiving yards and ninth all-time with 1,076 catches.

Boldin said he can play for two or three more seasons. He has stressed the importance of family to him in this decision and although he’s chosen to play another season at age 36, he could be tempted to stay closer to home.

He does have at least two interested teams, both of which he’s played for in recent seasons. The Lions have expressed an openness to bringing him back, and the Baltimore Ravens also made it clear at the NFL owners meetings that they’d like to add the services of the three-time Pro Bowler.

Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who also played with Boldin for three years with the Ravens, showed up to the event wearing a Lions polo and hat.

“I want to make sure he still remembers us,” Ngata told CBS Sports. “If he comes back, it will be fun.”

Although the Lions sent Boldin to free agency, they haven’t added much to the receiving corps this offseason. The No. 3 receiving spot behind Marvin Jones and Golden Tate is currently wide open.

“I’ve put him in the category of guys that we’ve talked to here in the last couple of months,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn told reporters at the NFL owners meetings. “He’s definitely an option. We haven’t made any decision on that one way or the other, but he’s still out there.”

The Ravens also need a No. 3 receiver, and they have a little more familiarity with Boldin after he played with quarterback Joe Flacco, coach John Harbaugh and others in Baltimore from 2010-2013. For the final two years, current Lions coach Jim Caldwell was his offensive coordinator.

“I will say this: I do believe he can still play at the highest level,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “His ability and skills are such that he’s not going to drop off the edge just because how he plays. I know he loved it in Baltimore. I loved him in Baltimore. I didn’t want him to have to leave when it happened. That’s just the way things worked out. I’d be for it.”

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