Usually teams that win championships tend to bring the band back together. In the case of the Baltimore Ravens, that means paying Joe Flacco more than any quarterback has ever been paid and saying “whatever” to the older guys like Ed Reed and …
The Ravens asked veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to accept a $2 million pay cut of his $6 million base salary, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
In what remains a fluid situation, Boldin has declined.
Depending on whether this financial dispute is resolved, it could lead to his release.
One source stated early Saturday morning, “Unless something dramatic happens, it’s an absolute done deal that Anquan will be released.”
A year ago, the San Francisco 49ers signed Mario Manningham, who enjoyed his best 2011 regular season game against the Niners in 2011 and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter for the New York Giants against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game a couple months later. If signing Manningham was an example of “if you can’t beat ’em, sign ’em,” would would it mean to add Boldin?
You can’t forget that Super Bowl, even though you want to. Six catches, 104 yards and a score. But the catch most of us will remember until we’re drinking Ensure out of straws was that play where Joe Flacco ran to the left. He kept running, with Ahmad Brooks and NaVorro Bowman in pursuit. He flung the ball up in a way that bordered on arrogance, and Boldin came down with it over Carlos Rogers.
Boldin didn’t just torch the 49ers in the playoffs, he had his way with everybody. He caught 22 balls for 360 yards and four touchdowns in four games. He is listed at 6-1, but plays like he’s 6-5. Now it looks like he’s on the market, and he’s jilted.
Some team is going to give Boldin the love (and money) he seeks. Should that team be the 49ers? Let’s answer some specific questions first before we answer that one.
Do the 49ers need another “possession receiver”?
Boldin has fumbled once in the past three years, and that fumble occurred in 2010. So … how is that a bad thing? Oh, wait. Fans are referring to the whole thing about not being able to catch 70-yard bombs with regularity.
Nobody does that. Mike Wallace is supposedly a guy who stretches the field, and he’s been paid as such. And he was terrible last year (don’t let the numbers fool you, he was not a good receiver in 2012).
Michael Crabtree is the only so-called possession receiver currently on the 49ers. Guys who catch passes, convert first downs and get into the end zone can’t be discounted because they aren’t ridiculously fast or don’t have nicknames based off Transformers characters. Next question.
Won’t Boldin want at least $6 million?
Absolutely. And some team will probably offer that to him. But Boldin is already incredibly rich. This is about respect, and he very well might be willing to get creative on the contract front if it means pissing off the team that took him for granted after he was an integral part of a Super Bowl run. That could mean he signs with a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he saw the 49ers … and their quarterback. NFL stars LOVE Colin Kaepernick. He’s a recruiting tool like no other for receivers. The way Michael Irvin talks about him, he’s probably mainlining HGH in hopes of making a comeback to play with Kaep. Wide receivers play video games too, and Kaepernick is a real life Madden superhero.
But who’s going deep?
The 49ers still have Kyle Williams and A.J. Jenkins (I’m not giving up yet, even though I kinda buried Jenkins after the season). They can draft at least one speedy big-play guy, throw in a little Vernon Davis and there you go.
Who else is available?
Ruthless Sports Guy broke it down nicely. The top available options include “possession” guys like Wes Welker and Danny Amendola, along with Wallace and Greg Jennings (who seemed like a lesser version of himself in 2012). While Danario Alexander seems like a smart bargain buy, there are a lot of NFL teams with employees who know a lot more than we do who also know good Alexander is.
Aren’t you forgetting about the salary cap?
I wish I could, because with every NFL team making crazy profits a cap on player salries is ridiculous. But the 49ers already shedded $8.5 million when they traded Alex Smith, and if they aren’t happy with Manningham’s knee ligaments they can drop about $4 million by cutting him as well. That brings us to our last question:
Would you rather have Manningham, or spend $2 million more on Boldin?