Anquan Boldin apparently is ready to end his brief retirement – if another team makes an offer acceptable to the Buffalo Bills.
ESPN's Adam Schefter obtained a letter sent Thursday from Bills General Brandon Beane to Boldin's agent, Tom Condon, granting him permission to seek out a trade partner.
Boldin, 37, retired from the Bills on Aug. 20, less than two weeks after signing a one-year contract worth up to $4 million. By placing Boldin on the reserve/retired list, the Bills kept his rights, meaning he would not be able to play for another team unless he was traded. At the time, he issued a statement saying he was retiring to focus on his humanitarian efforts.
"Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work," the statement read in part. "At this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority. My life's purpose is bigger than football."
The NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015, Boldin established the Q81 Foundation in 2004. It offers educational support for underprivileged children in Palm Beach County, Fla. In the letter Beane sent to Condon, it references exploring a trade to a team that "may be closer in proximity to his home and family."
Earlier Thursday, Time magazine published an article written by Boldin under the headline "Why Players Protest." It starts, "My life’s purpose became bigger than football in August, when I decided to walk away from the game I love — a game to which I have dedicated nearly my entire life — in order to become a champion for criminal justice reform and both racial and social equality."
During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio the day after announcing his retirement, Boldin said he would not consider signing with a contending team later in the year.
"Do I feel like I can still play? Of course. I feel like I can play more than six weeks or 10 weeks, I feel like I can play an entire season, so that isn't a question for me," he said. "My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs my passion for football at this point, so I'm not coming back to play for a contender or do anything else. I'm done with the game of football, and I appreciate all the opportunities that I've been afforded because of football, but at this point I'm done."
Beane's letter to Condon gives Boldin's representatives until 1 p.m. on Halloween to seek out a trade, which is three hours before the league's deadline for such transactions to be made this season. The letter also states that Boldin can't make visits, take a physical or tryout or discuss a new contract with another team, and that the Bills would have to approve any trade offer.
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Cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring), safety Jordan Poyer (knee) and left guard Richie Incognito (ankle) all did not practice Thursday for a second straight day.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said Gaines and Poyer remain day to day, while Incognito is "getting better every day" and wasn't scheduled to practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Tight end Charles Clay and linebacker Ramon Humber also did not practice and are not expected to play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, running back LeSean McCoy and defensive tackle Kyle Williams practiced after getting a veteran's day off Wednesday.
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Ever wondered what would happen if kicker Stephen Hauschka were to get hurt in a game?
McDermott gave some clues to that answer Thursday, albeit begrudgingly.
"If I reveal that, we're not going to be able to let you leave today," he joked. "If you want to stay here the rest of the weekend, I'll let you know. Nick does some of that. Nick O'Leary. He's kind of one of those sneaky athletes. They're like good at everything. Throw Kyle Williams into that mix. Everybody's All-American."
The Dallas Cowboys found themselves in that exact situation in Week Seven when kicker Dan Bailey got hurt against the 49ers, replacing him with safety Jeff Heath.
"Hopefully we don't get into that situation," McDermott said, "but it does come up."