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September 4, 2008 3:35 PM

One NFL Player Says All The Right Things. Another Does Not.

We'll start with the good.

Anquan Boldin has been upset that he has not received a contract extension while his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, signed a big one (4-years, $40 million). The way the contract works out, he is set to make about $17 million this season. Compare that to Boldin, who will make roughly $3.5 million this year. The two have had fairly similar stats in their careers, although Fitzgerald had better numbers last season, with Boldin missing a few games due to injuries. But obviously Boldin is worth much more than $3.5 million and thus has good reason to be upset. Despite Boldin's beef he is saying and doing all the right things now:

He looks happy. He's laughing...He said he never considered not reporting to camp and holding the team hostage.

"It ain't worth it, man," Boldin said. "My teammates work too hard, and I know I'm a big part of the process with this program. If I held out or did anything like that, I'd be letting them down."

"The only thing I did was come out and stated what I believe. That hasn't changed. But the season is here now, my teammates have worked hard, and I know I've worked my butt off, so there's no need to let things linger over into the season."


That is the way you handle a situation like that. Boldin is showing himself as a class act and leader of that team. And everyone knows the Cardinals could use a leader, since Matt Leinart doesn't seem to be up for the task.

And now the bad.

We already reported (read: copy and pasted from PFT) on Tatum Bell stealing Rudi Johnson's bags, but wait, there's more!

Johnson reports that the bags were returned on Tuesday, with many items missing:

"Underwear, socks, credit cards and money. He left my money clip with no money in it,'' said Johnson, adding that about $200 was missing. "He should've taken the clip, too. It's quite stupid if you ask me.''

"All of this happened after he got released and came in and got some stuff out of his locker,'' Johnson said. "That's when he scooped the bags up, some real shyster, conniving stuff...He tried to make up some excuse, he tried to blame it on somebody else so I didn't try to entertain something that didn't make any sense.''

Johnson said he would not involve the police.

"I'm not going to the police for this one,'' he said. "I don't need anybody else, I can handle it.''


Bell responded to the allegations:

"I did take his bag, but it was a misunderstanding. I've never had to fight for my reputation like now.''
First, he steals the guy's bag, and then he doesn't fess up? If Bell had just come out and said, 'Yeah I stole his bag. I was angry he was taking my job and I got upset. I did something stupid in the heat of the moment,' we'd all be able to have a good laugh and put this one behind us. But instead he is sticking to some story that he mistook Rudi's bags for the bags of someone who was cut that asked Bell to get his bags for him. Just fess up! Fighting is what is HURTING your reputation.

We can all take a joke, and can understand doing something really stupid when you're emotional, but then to try to cover your tracks is not going to help you in the public eye.

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