Appearances to the contrary, Anquan Boldin insists he had been giving his retirement as an NFL player plenty of thought.

Sunday, however, it felt as if it came out of nowhere when, only two weeks after signing with the Buffalo Bills, the 36-year-old receiver announced he was walking away from the game. The Bills and their fans certainly were taken by surprise.

‘It was something that I had been dealing with for a couple years’

Monday, Boldin wanted to set the record straight about why he did what he did.

“It wasn’t a decision that I made all of the sudden,” Boldin told Ross Tucker and Vic Carucci on The Opening Drive. “It was something that I had been dealing with for a couple years. I always felt like football would be my passion, football would get me past a lot of things.

‘I think for me, there’s something bigger than football at this point’

“When I stepped up to the podium (during his introductory news conference), what I said was honestly true. But just seeing things that transpired (in Charlottesville, Va.) over the last week or so, I mean, I think for me, there’s something bigger than football at this point.”

Boldin has been recognized for his humanitarian and charitable efforts. After 14 NFL seasons, he wants to put his full attention outside of his family to those causes.

‘I dedicated my life to (football) and I never thought anything would take the place of that passion, but for me it has’

“It’s kind of shocking for me to say that because football is something that I’ve dedicated my life to,” Boldin said. “I can remember as a kid wanting to get to the NFL and then wanting to be a professional football player. I dedicated my life to that and I never thought anything would take the place of that passion, but for me it has.”

Boldin shot down speculation that the Bills’ decision to trade fellow receiver Sammy Watkins right after Boldin’s arrival contributed to his walking away. Boldin also dismissed Tyrod Taylor’s poor showing in last Thursday night’s preseason game at Philadelphia as having any role in prompting him to hang up his cleats.

‘I think Tyrod is a fine quarterback and I think he’ll be just great’

“Not in the least bit. I think Tyrod is a fine quarterback and I think he’ll be just great. I have all the confidence in the world in Tyrod,” Boldin said. “I’ve played in this league for 14 years. I don’t think you base how a season is going to go based off of one preseason game. There’s a lot of things that go into what happens in the preseason. No. 1, you don’t game plan in the preseason.

“So for me to put some thought into, saying, ‘This is not what I signed up for,’ would be absurd.”

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