Reggie Wayne's first thought when he heard Anquan Boldin had signed with the Buffalo Bills was summed up in a single word: "Perfect."
"Now they've got a veteran presence in that receiving room who can help a Sammy Watkins and get him on track," said Wayne, the former Indianapolis Colts' great turned NFL Network analyst. "At the same time, he's going to be one of those guys who can come in on third down, make a tight catch, keep the chains moving. He's not going to be a guy who's going to take the top off the secondary. But he's going to be a guy who can work the inside ... work in between the hash and the numbers. Just his presence on that team, he can kind of lead the way, show these young players who to be a true professional."
Wayne, who spoke on a conference call previewing the 2017 season, retired after his age-36 season in 2014. Boldin turns 37 in October.
"I like the signing. I think he can go in and contribute," Wayne said. "I don't see him having an 80-catch year. But if he can get somewhere in the 30s to 50 catches on the year, I think that will be real productive for him."
Wayne didn't hold back when commenting about the Bills' prolonged playoff absence.
"It's their time. Buffalo has been struggling as of late, well, (expletive), for a long time. They're going to need Sammy Watkins to be healthy. I think he sees the writing on the wall," he said. "The Buffalo Bills didn't exercise the fifth year, so this is basically a contract year for him. He needs to be available. Then you've got Zay Jones, who's a pretty good wide receiver. I think he can make some noise. We know what Shady can do in the backfield. The question is: Is Tyrod going to be the guy and how much are they going to unleash him to prove his worth?"