San Francisco receiver Anquan Boldin has announced today that he has accepted a two-year deal to stay with the 49ers. The deal is worth 12 million over the next two years with 9 million of that guaranteed. At the age of 33 Boldin is absolutely on the back-end of his career but the 49ers think he can keep up his production for at least the next two seasons.
Boldin enjoyed a great deal of success last year in his first season in San Francisco making it to the NFC championship and falling just short of the Super Bowl losing to the Seattle Seahawks. Personally Boldin also enjoyed great success as he led the team in both receptions and receiving yards with 85 catches and 1179 yards and also adding the second most receiving touchdowns with 7. His statistical production was definitely helped by the large chuck of the season fellow receiver Michael Crabtree missed with a torn Achilles.
Having all their weapons this season will only bolster the 49ers passing attack, which was a little predictable this past season because defenses knew to key on either Boldin or tight end Vernon Davis. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will enjoy having all his weapons back this coming season as his passing numbers last year did not live up to the statistical success he had the previous year when he took over for the injured Alex Smith midway through the year leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Even with the predictability of their passing offense, the 49ers were still able to make it to the NFC championship on the back of their strong defense and ability to run the ball with Frank Gore.
Since being drafted in the second round out of Florida State in 2003 Anquan Boldin has enjoyed nothing but success. His rookie year he took the league by storm starting all 16 games and racking up 101 receptions, 1377 receiving yards and eights touchdowns. That season earned him a pro bowl birth and the AP Offensive Rookie of the year award. Since then he has continued to be one of the most sure-handed and productive receivers in the NFL having five more 1000 yard receiving seasons. He has not just enjoyed personal success but also a great deal of team success as he has appeared in two super bowls; one with the team that drafted him in the Arizona Cardinals, which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his winning appearance was with the Baltimore Ravens when they beat his current team the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers were very smart to lock up Boldin because other teams around the league know exactly how much he can help an offense in the passing game. Boldin has an uncanny ability to find the ball in the air at the highest point and rip it away from defenders. Those abilities make him a very good deep ball receiver despite his lack of top end speed and a very valuable asset when the ball is in the red zone.
Boldin taking a two-year deal to stay with the 49ers coupled with the return of Michael Crabtree for an entire season will help the 49ers try to bring more balance to their offense in 2014. Both Boldin and Crabtree will be very important pieces for San Francisco as they try to add another title to their already impressively stocked trophy case this coming season.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius
Pro Football Talk