Hours after the Seattle Seahawks traded for star wide receiver Percy Harvin, their NFC West rivals quickly made a move of their own. The San Francisco 49ers have received wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens for a 6th round draft pick.
Right away, this move seems like a poor one for the Ravens. Boldin was one of the Ravens best players during their Super Bowl run, with him making difficult catch after difficult catch. It truly was a remarkable run by a wide receiver in recent playoff memory. If it wasn’t for Boldin fighting for the ball, the Ravens probably wouldn’t have even made the Super Bowl! Now, the trade is complete and the usual negativity has already come to light. People have blamed general manager Ozzie Newsome to blaming Joe Flacco for taking that ridiculously huge contract (which, actually helped save the Ravens cap room this year). I personally would blame Boldin himself. The man who said during the season he would retire if cut by the Ravens, he had his chance to stay and help the Ravens defend their championship. The Ravens asked Boldin to take a pay cut from 6 million to 4 million for salary cap relief. Boldin decided not to take the pay cut, saying he signed a contract and that’s what he will play for..basically its the principle, you sign a contract and you play it out (not that many NFL teams/players follow those principles). Now, Boldin is on the team that he helped defeat for his first ring, and he goes from one Harbaugh brother to the next.
Ravens: The Ravens lose a great receiver, and one they probably won’t be able to replace this year. The Ravens can give Jacoby Jones (who made his own big plays during the playoffs) more time at receiver opposite Torrey Smith. Tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson will also need to step up for the offense. Boldin had a good year in 2012 with 65 catches for 921 yards and 4 touchdowns. He really turned it up in the playoffs though, totaling 16 receptions for 276 yards and 3 TD’s. The Ravens will use the 6 million of cap space they saved by trading Boldin to help resign other free agents such as Ed Reed and Dannell Ellerbe. However, this loss is still a big one for the team. Torrey Smith went to Twitter to express his displeasure, saying not only did the team lose its top producer, but a leader as well. Joe Flacco was obviously upset, and it will be interesting to see how he plays without his favorite target.
49ers: Obviously, the 49ers added a great wide receiver, and it pretty much cost the Niners nothing, as they still have 14 draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft. As Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick stated, you can’t find a 6th round player who will have the immediate impact Boldin will have for the 49ers. This move also means that Randy Moss is as good as gone. Boldin will fit in nicely with Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore on the offensive side of the ball, and Boldin now gives Kaepernick a great security blanket, much like Boldin did for Flacco. This trade should only help to improve Kaepernick as he continues to grow as a quarterback.
Despite being 32 and in the final year of his contract, the 49ers won big with this trade. They gave up little for potentially a lot in return. Boldin, who vocally stated numerous times that he wanted to remain a Raven, will warm up to playing for the Niners very soon. They will be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl next year, and the addition of Boldin will only increase those chances. The Ravens will feel the sting of this loss, but general manager Ozzie Newsome deserves some credit and should be given the time to add more players and reshape the team. Ravens fans may be upset now, and rightfully so, but anyone who thinks this move will make the Ravens worse in 2013 needs to open their eyes.