And here I thought the Baltimore Ravens would release Anquan Boldin. Instead, Boldin goes from playing for one Harbaugh brother to the other.
This comes on the heels of the Seattle Seahawks acquiring Percy Harvins from the Minnesota Vikings for a first round pick in 2013, a seventh round pick in 2013 and a conditional pick in 2014. Yes, Harvin will only be 25 next year and he’s faster than Boldin. But both teams are looking to win now, and Boldin was still productive at age 32 this past year.
The Ravens obviously didn’t have many options, and the 49ers swooped in and got Boldin for a song. Family discount, perhaps?
What this means for Manningham, Goldson, Walker etc.
I can envision Randy Moss signing with Seattle himself pretty soon, since he’s friends with Harvin, the Seahawks love ex-Niners and marijuana is legal in the state of Washington (just kidding … sort of). While Boldin is a great replacement for Moss, whose reputation surpassed his production during his stint in San Francisco, one also has to wonder whether Mario Manningham will get cut.
The 49ers aren’t exactly in a position to toss aside potential weapons in the passing game, which makes me think that they’ll keep Manningham and, as Tim Kawakami pointed out, slide Boldin’s money into the spot vacated by Dashon Goldson. There are several safeties in the draft and in free agency, so there was never any point in giving Goldson a lucrative long-term deal. But if Manningham is progressing slowly in his recovery from knee surgery, the 49ers may very well decide to erase nearly $4 million from their overall cap figure.
While Boldin isn’t a tight end, I think this might spell the end for Delanie Walker — in San Francisco, at least. Walker and Ricky Jean-Francois are both thought of as excellent free agency pickups. I even heard John Clayton saying all kinds of nice things about Walker last night on SportsCenter. He’s probably going to get paid, and probably not by the 49ers.
About the vertical threat thing
The 49ers still have Kyle Williams at only $650,000 next year. He’s on a contract year, and it looked like the switch to Colin Kaepernick was working out great for his career until he and Kendall Hunter suffered season-ending injuries on the same play. There’s a chance A.J. Jenkins might not be complete rubbish. Draft-eligible wide receivers who run sub-4.5 40s seem to grow on trees these days.
There’s also Vernon Davis, one of the best deep threats in the league. Everyone always seems to forget this.
And for all of you out there who wanted the home run threat of Harvin, remember this:
- Harvin is going to get a lot of guaranteed money. A LOT.
- Harvin missed the last month of the season after he couldn’t get along with Leslie Frazier.
- Migraines migraines migraines…
- Harvin averaged 10.9 yards per reception in 2012. Boldin? 14.2.
- Harvin isn’t much of a blocker.
Harvin is a much flashier player who has played for some terrible quarterbacks. But there’s no denying that he comes with major attitude questions and his arrival makes fitting Seattle’s other talented young players (Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Bruce Irvin) under the cap that much more difficult in future years.
While trading for Boldin doesn’t mean Trent Baalke’s work is done when it comes to constructing the 2013 offense, one can probably easily surmise that I’m a big fan of this trade. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched Boldin torch the 49ers for years, and it probably has quite a bit to do with seeing him destroy the 49ers’ secondary in person in New Orleans.
/Tucks into fetal position
Boldin isn’t a guy the 49ers will keep for much longer than a year or two, but San Francisco is in win now mode (as are the Seahawks) and they aren’t destroying their cap or giving up several good draft picks to acquire him. He’s a complete player who doesn’t miss many games and probably won’t complain about his role publicly (unlike certain veteran receivers the 49ers have experimented with over the past couple seasons).
He should also be motivated after the Ravens dumped him, plus it’s a contract year for Boldin. And if the 49ers and Ravens have a Super Bowl rematch, San Francisco will certainly be happy about having Boldin on their side.