The San Francisco 49ers have been in the news nonstop over the last two weeks, and not because they signed Daniel Kilgore to a contract extension. However, the team’s latest signing should keep people from kvetching about Jim Harbaugh for at least five minutes or so.
— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 3, 2014
Matt Maiocco was the first to report that Anquan Boldin’s extension is a two-year deal. Ed Werder, who earlier in the day reported that we’d hear news of a Boldin/49ers agreement in the “next 24 hours,” was the first to report that Boldin’s deal is for $12 million with $9 million guaranteed.
Even though the 49ers have shown an unwillingness to overpay for their own veteran free agents, Boldin isn’t just any old free agent. And unless his production dips considerably, the 49ers aren’t shelling out too much. Boldin was the team’s leading receiver and won the Bill Walsh Award in his first year with the team. He also became the first person to successfully calm down Jim Harbaugh during an NFL game, when the 49ers head coach went guano-crazy following Vernon Davis’ toe-tapping touchdown against the Panthers.
The 49ers now have three wide receivers they can count on: Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Quinton Patton. That’s not enough to say they’re set at the position (injuries can and do occur, as the 49ers found out last May with Crabtree), but I’d be willing to bet my entire supply of bitcoin that the 49ers don’t draft a wideout in the first round.
Why, you probably didn’t ask?
— This year’s draft class is extremely deep. There are fast, shifty guys (Brandin Cooks, Josh Huff), big guys (Martavius Bryant, Brandon Coleman), and a bunch of talented guys in between who won’t get taken in the first round. That’s because guys like Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin are also available, and there’s no way 10 wide receivers will get taken in the first round.
— Spending decent money on Boldin means less available cap space for other positions … like cornerback and safety. The 49ers are loaded up front, but their secondary is nowhere near as stout. Defensive backs coach Ed Donatell reportedly re-upped with the 49ers (it’s two-year extension day!), and don’t be surprised if he gets the chance to develop a first round cornerback.
— Trent Baalke may never draft another receiver in the first round again after what happened last time.
One last thing on the Boldin news … there was a column over the weekend that discussed how “Harbaugh’s act has worn thin in the locker room, particularly among some key ‘face of the 49ers’ type players.” Maybe one or two of the team’s premier players is tired of listening to Harbaugh, but the team sure doesn’t seem to have a problem luring free agents. One can argue that Boldin (who has a face, but may not be a “face of the 49ers” yet, whatever that silly term means) was only worried about getting paid, but free agency hasn’t even officially begun. If Harbaugh was such a pain in the ass, wouldn’t he have waited a week to see if a similar offer was out there?