Buffalo, N.Y. - Wide receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, less than two weeks after signing with the Buffalo Bills.
Boldin was expected to bring a veteran presence to the offense after signing a one-year contract with the Bills on Aug. 7. The 36-year-old made one catch for 5 yards Thursday in a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work, and at this time I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority," Boldin said in a statement to ESPN.com. "My life's purpose is bigger than football."
Boldin spent portions of the last two years on Capitol Hill fighting for criminal justice reform. His cousin, Corey Jones, was shot to death by a plain-clothes police officer in 2015 after Jones' van broke down on the side of a South Florida highway.
Boldin finishes his 14-year NFL career ranked ninth all-time in receptions (1,076), 14th in receiving yards (13,779) and tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns (82). He won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2012 season.
Statement from GM Brandon Beane on Anquan Boldin. pic.twitter.com/G8k6Tx0HUN— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 21, 2017
His departure leaves Buffalo with questions among its wide receiver ranks. Former first-round pick Sammy Watkins was traded to the Los Angeles Rams on Aug. 11, and while wideout Jordan Matthews was acquired from the Eagles the same day, he is recovering from a chipped bone in his sternum.
Boldin began his career with the Arizona Cardinals as a 2003 second-round draft pick out of Florida State. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder played seven years with the Cardinals and appeared in the Super Bowl following the 2008 season, with Arizona losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He moved on to Baltimore in 2010 and spent three years there.
While with Baltimore, Boldin caught the first completion of current Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor's career in 2011. It came in mop-up duty during a late-season loss to the San Diego Chargers, as Taylor, then a rookie, hit Boldin for an 18-yard completion.
Boldin spent 2013-15 with the San Francisco 49ers. He played 2016 for the Detroit Lions, catching 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. Seven of his touchdowns came when he was lined up in the slot, the second most from that position in the NFL last season behind only Sterling Shepard of the Giants.