NFL News: 49ers Score Major Coup Securing Anquan Boldin for 6th-Round Pick

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2013

Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin (81) carries the ball during the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Patriots 28-13.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Score one for Trent Baalke and the San Francisco 49ers for landing veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens for one of the team's two sixth-round picks in 2013. 

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun first reported the trade:

Fox Sports' Peter Schrager reported that this deal won't be official until Boldin passes his physical with the 49ers, but it will be a tremendous shock if he doesn't pass.

Some fans might be wondering why the 49ers would be willing to bring Boldin into the fold, since he's set to earn $6 million this season. After all, if the team can afford to pay him, then why is Dashon Goldson about to test the market?

Two things on that:

  1. Goldson is a gifted player who has a knack for making big plays, but he's also a liability in coverage at times. The 49ers can bring in a rookie on a much cheaper deal this season, and the 2013 NFL draft class is loaded with safety talent. 
  2. The 49ers will almost certainly sign Boldin to an extension after he passes his physical. This extension will give the team more salary-cap room in 2013. 

After the Randy Moss experiment fizzled in 2012, the 49ers needed to bring in a receiver or two this season. Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams both went down with serious injuries late last year, and the team can't afford to count on the two of them in 2013. 

Boldin is far and away superior to Manningham or Williams as a pure receiver, and he's more reliable. He's been healthy for most of his career, too, and he famously played through a painful injury to his face (a sinus fracture) during his time with the Arizona Cardinals.

He's not going to stretch the field, and the 49ers may still address that issue in the draft, but there's no doubt the 49ers made out like bandits in this deal. 

As for the team's need for a receiver who can stretch the field, Williams is still signed on through the 2013 season, and he ran a 4.43-second 40 at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine.

Furthermore, the 49ers hope second-year receiver and former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins will be ready to step into the lineup next year. He ran a blazing-fast 40 in 2012 of 4.39 seconds. If he can work his way into the starting rotation in 2013, the 49ers will be just fine in the speed department.

During his 10-year career, Boldin has averaged 77 receptions for 1,017 yards and nearly six touchdowns per season. Adding him for a sixth-round pick was like picking up a perfectly functioning 2008 Cadillac Deville for $500. 

Well played, Baalke. Well played. 


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