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Wide receiver Anquan Boldin is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens and I’m hearing ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man in the background.

Ravens new WR Anquan Boldin

“Q” was obtained, along with a fifth-round pick, from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Baltimore’s third- and fourth-round picks in the 2010 NFL draft. Having come to terms on a reported four-year, $28 million contract, which includes $10 million guaranteed, the Ravens added even more legitimacy to the wide receiver position.

But I see this as so much more than just filling a need and enhancing the supporting cast of quarterback Joe Flacco. Queue up the song again, because from a fan perspective I see this move as relative to the Shannon Sharpe signing prior to the 2000 season.

General manager/executive VP Ozzie Newsome and his staff recognize intangibles and tend to pluck special players during free-agency and when making a major trade.

There is talent, production, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl appearances for both that can be counted and measured. What can’t be measured is leadership, toughness and identity. Boldin brings this to Baltimore the way Sharpe did, though with more to prove than the eventual Hall of Fame tight end.

The three-time Pro Bowl player provides a vocal identity that may bring more personality and attitude to the production of Flacco and Pro Bowl running backs Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain.

Sharpe brought leadership, big plays and a professional pride that led Kevin Byrne, Ravens Sr. VP of public and community relations, to write Sharpe brings playoff wisdom to castle in his blog The Byrne Identity

Will lightning strike twice? Can Boldin inspire the spark that Sharpe did? I’m very excited we’re going to get the chance to see for ourselves this season.


Baltimoreravens.com: Ravens trade for WR Anquan Boldin

The Baltimore Sun: Ravens trade for wide receiver Boldin