Tuesday’s roundup: Fitzgerald praises Boldin’s toughness

Bob Baum
Associated Press

Glendale, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald took a moment Tuesday to talk about the retirement of his good friend and former teammate Anquan Boldin.

“It’s bittersweet,” Fitzgerald told reporters. “He’s like a big brother to me.”

For six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, from 2004-09, Fitzgerald and Boldin were among the most formidable receiving duos, eventually helping the team reach the Super Bowl.

They became close off the field as well as on it.

“Anquan wasn’t a guy to really open up to you, you had to gain his trust,” Fitzgerald said before the Cardinals practiced. “If you were able to be lucky to get his trust, he was one of the most loyal people you’d ever be around.”

Boldin arrived as a second-round pick out of Florida State in 2003. Fitzgerald came one year later as a touted No. 2 overall selection out of Pittsburgh.

Boldin, Fitzgerald said, “took me under his wing my rookie year, invited me over to the house every single ‘Monday Night Football.’ Those kinds of memories are things I’ll always remember.”

Then there were the overseas tours for charity.

“We were in Ethiopia, or Senegal, all around the world doing things that are positive and always inviting me to be a part of it,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m just happy that I was able to be around him for as long as I was able to and be able to call him a friend.

“I just hope he’s happy and enjoys his retirement.”

After his seven prolific seasons in Arizona, Boldin ranks high on the franchise’s career lists — second in receptions (586), second in catches in a game (14), fourth in yards receiving (7,520), first in consecutive games with a TD catch (six), first in most consecutive 100-yard games (five).

Overall, in 14 seasons with Arizona, Baltimore, San Francisco and Detroit, Boldin, 36, caught 1,076 passes for 13,779 yards and 82 touchdowns.

With the Lions last season, he had 67 receptions for 584 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

“An unbelievable Hall of Fame career,” Fitzgerald said. “Every place he’s gone, he’s been the best receiver on that team. He’s led by example off the field. He’s done it the right way.”

And then there was Boldin’s unmistakable toughness. Fitzgerald recalled the game against the Jets in New York in 2008 when Boldin took a vicious hit to the face, fracturing his nasal membrane and numerous other bones. He required surgery to implant seven plates and 40 screws to repair it.

He missed just two games.

“I’ve never played with anybody tougher,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s the most gritty, hard-nosed guy I’ve ever been around, regardless of position. He’s just special that way.”

Bowie arrested

Giants offensive lineman Michael Bowie was charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma.

Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore told the Tulsa World that Bowie grabbed his girlfriend by the neck during a fight at her home in Bixby, then broke two televisions and punched a hole in the wall.

Online court records show the 25-year-old Bowie, who is from Tulsa, is charged with misdemeanor domestic assault and battery and two counts of malicious injury or destruction of property. Court records don’t list an attorney for Bowie.

His agent said Bowie is working to prove his innocence, saying there was no physical contact with the girlfriend. Jail records show Bowie has been released on $17,000 bond.

Trump gets ring

President Donald Trump has a Super Bowl ring.

The Patriots said owner Robert Kraft gave the diamond-encrusted ring to Trump. The sitting president usually receives gifts from teams during celebratory White House visits. A personalized jersey is standard, but Kraft gave Trump a ring as well.

The Patriots latest ring is white gold with more than 280 diamonds and a carat weight of 5.1. The ring manufacturer said it is the largest Super Bowl ring.

Coach comes out

Katie Sowers, an assistant coach with the 49ers, became the first NFL coach to come out as gay, in an exclusive interview with Outsports.

“The more we can create an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, the more we can help ease the pain and burden that many carry every day,” Sowers, 31, told the website.

Extra points

Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (left ankle) and Brandon Marshall (shoulder) are listed as day-to-day.

... Chargers center Max Tuerk was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances.

... The Cardinals activated inside linebacker Deone Bucannon from the PUP list.

... Broncos pass rusher Shaq Barrett has returned from a hip injury that had sidelined him since the spring.