In a dramatic bit of irony, the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the team they just beat in the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers, for a sixth round draft pick. After signing franchise quarterback Joe Flacco to a six year, $120.6 million contract, it is hard to imagine that the Ravens would be able to handle contracts such as the wide receiver’s.
Boldin had been given a chance to restructure his contract and create a more cap friendly environment for the Ravens. Boldin refused and the sides stopped talking leading up to today’s trade. Baltimore needed to get under the cap and Boldin felt he had the right to play out a contract he signed. Justifiable for a player who was due to make $6 million in 2013 when he just watch his quarterback sign for a $20+ million per year average deal.
Boldin would have counted as $7.531 million against the salary cap. In 2012 Boldin put up respectable numbers compiling 65 receptions for 921 yards and four touchdowns. He really cranked it up in the miraculous playoff run catching 22 balls for 380 yards and four touchdowns culminating in a Super Bowl Championship. In his career Boldin has 772 receptions for 10,165 yards and 58 touchdowns in 140 games.
A six round pick was a bit of a shock but it is logical to think the team would not trade him to an AFC North rival or any other AFC club. He was bound for the NFC and it appears the 49ers got one heck of a deal. You would be hard pressed to draft a guy in the sixth round that will have a greater impact than Boldin. There were reactions to the deal from former teammates who did not hold back when the news broke.
Torrey Smith did not hide his opinion when he took to Twitter after he heard the news.
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
However on the west coast the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took to the airways to speak his mind on the day’s big news. Speaking with ESPN Kaepernick commented:
“If it’s true, it’s a great trade, We’re happy to have him. Having a playmaker like that at receiver is something you always want. It’s another weapon for our offense and our team.”
The reaction across the wire was of shock considering the performance he had in their playoff run. There was a mix of active and former players and personalities weighing in on the news.
Ravens give up their MVP for a bubble gum wrapper?
— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) March 11, 2013
Great move for the 49’s in acquiring Anquan Bolden in trade. Wow only for a 6th rd draft pick. Bad move for Baltimore. Not smart. #pressure5
— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) March 11, 2013
Anquan Boldin for a sixth? to the Niners? Somebody help me with this one.
— Dennis Miller Show (@DennisDMZ) March 11, 2013
— Vernon Davis (@VernonDavis85) March 11, 2013
Unfortunately for Ravens fans it is probably not over yet. Players that seemed would always play in Ravens colors like Ed Reed might end up out of town as well. When a team signs a premier player to a huge contract there are ripple effects that flow throughout the team and tend to fall on players with numbers that are not cap friendly. What that normally means is veterans who have played well and earned their contracts are usually the victims. It is just the business side of the National Football League that fans tend to forget. You can’t keep them all but it will be interesting to see how the Ravens and their general manager handle the weeks ahead.