Anquan Boldin was a big part of the Baltimore Ravens’ championship season in 2013, but they won’t be rewarding him for his efforts. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens have agreed to trade the veteran wideout to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Anquan Boldin traded to 49ers for a sixth-round pick— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 11, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, Mar. 12, at 10:21 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Anquan Boldin took to Twitter this morning to comment on his move from Baltimore to San Francisco:
I would like thank the Ravens fans for their incredible support for myself and my family throughout my years in Baltimore.— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 12, 2013
I am grateful in getting to know you and will miss what I call home.— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 12, 2013
I thought this was the last stop of my career but regardless of the circumstances I came here to win a Championship— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 12, 2013
and in February we came home Champions.— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) March 12, 2013
Boldin also told ESPN.com that he was shocked by the trade.
'You know, for me, it was an initial shock because I had no clue that I was going to be traded,' Boldin told ESPN producer Ashly Robinson, who is in Africa to document his trip with fellow NFL receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White, who are working with Oxfam to restore farmland in Senegal, Africa.
'... It was shocking at first ... but I mean it, for me it is also a good thing. ... When I look at the organization and what they're about ... and as a football team, the talent that they have ... I think it's good, a good place for me to be,' he told ESPN.
Boldin said he learned about the trade when he got off the plane in Africa as he received several texts congratulating him on the trade to the 49ers.
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With salary-cap trouble looming, the Ravens were forced to make some tough decisions this offseason. Boldin was expected to restructure his contract and take a pay cut in order to remain with the team, but he was reportedly unwilling to do so.
In an interview with USA Today, Boldin explained his reasoning behind rejecting a reduced salary:
When I signed with the Ravens, I signed for four years. With me, it's all about principles. At no point, no matter how well I played, would I come back to the table and say, 'I need more money.’ The contract that I signed was the contract that I intended to play out.
With the 10-year veteran unwilling to take a pay cut, trading him was the best way for Baltimore to erase his $6 million base salary in 2013, as ESPN’s John Clayton reports:
Trading Anquan Boldin to the SF 49ers saves the Ravens $6 million of cap room but also takes away their best inside pat-catcher.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 11, 2013
Boldin played well in the regular season (921 yards and four touchdowns), but it was his postseason play that really set the tone for the Ravens as they marched toward the ultimate prize in football.
In the team’s four postseason contests, Boldin caught 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns, including a 104-yard, one-touchdown performance against the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Just two months after that performance, Boldin will now join the team he helped defeat.
The NFL is a business, and moves like this aren't always popular. Ravens teammate and fellow wide receiver Torrey Smith wasn't pleased with the decision to trade Boldin:
RT @ravensinsider: Anquan Boldin traded to 49ers for a sixth-round pick....WHAT!!!— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) March 11, 2013
This business is BS at times— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) March 11, 2013
As Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com reports, the trade won't be official until Boldin passes a physical for the 49ers:
Ravens deal will not be official until Boldin passes his physical. Boldin is in Africa.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) March 11, 2013
A sixth-round pick is a small price to pay for such a productive and proven receiver. If Boldin is able to pass his physical, San Francisco will have one more key piece in place to make another Super Bowl run next season.