Bills: No plans to release WR Anquan Boldin, won't rule out return

— -- ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has "no plans" to release wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the reserve/retired list if Boldin does not find another team with an acceptable trade offer by Tuesday's NFL trade deadline.

Boldin, who retired in August less than two weeks after signing with the Bills, has expressed interest in playing again.

In a letter dated Thursday from Beane to Boldin's agent, Tom Condon, that was obtained by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Bills gave Boldin permission to speak to other teams "for the sole purpose of discussing a trade for Anquan."

Beane said Friday that he did not personally speak with Boldin and did not discuss with his representatives whether Boldin was interested in returning to Buffalo.

"We really didn't go there," Beane told reporters on a conference call after the Bills traded defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. "It was more expressed that he might, if there was a suitor, [play] closer to home, which is Florida. That's the way it was explained to us.

"If we can find something that's a win-win there, we'll do it. But other than that, I don't expect anything to happen."

Beane later added, "never say never on anything," about Boldin playing again for the Bills, whose wide receivers have the fewest catches (34) and receiving yards (461) in the NFL this season.

In their letter granting permission to seek a trade, the Bills noted that Boldin might not make visits, undergo a physical or try out with other teams at this time. The Bills reserved the right to have ultimate say on trade compensation and the designated club.

Boldin announced on Aug. 20, less than two weeks after signing a one-year deal with the Bills, that he was leaving football to focus on social activism.

He told SiriusXM Radio the next day, "Do I feel like I can still play? Of course. My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs football at this point, so I'm not coming back to play for a contender or to do anything else. I'm done with the game of football."

Boldin told ESPN at the time, "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. My life's purpose is bigger than football."

Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, where he played his first seven seasons, Boldin walked away from the game with 1,076 receptions for 13,779 yards and 82 touchdowns. He won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in the 2012 season. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions.

Boldin, 37, has spent parts of the past two years on Capitol Hill fighting for criminal justice reform. He has teamed with current Philadelphia Eagle Malcolm Jenkins in trips to Washington to speak with members of Congress, to push a social media campaign for the Clean Slate Act and to help organize a players coalition of approximately 40 players who perform community work on a grassroots level.

ESPN's Jim Trotter contributed to this report.