I've already heard the move was a "steal" for the 49ers, but let's be real. The Ravens were ready to release Boldin and they still got something back for him. He was due $6 million in 2013. They set a price on Boldin, and they stuck to it. Was any team but the 49ers ready to pay him that much?
Super Bowl champions get off track when they get overly emotional. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome insisted he wouldn't make the mistake of trying to keep the band all together, like the Ravens did after their first world championship.
Boldin's epic playoff run will go down in Ravens history. But he's a player set to turn 33 years old and unlikely to ever play at that insanely high level again. His speed has deteriorated rapidly. More to the point: The Ravens have salary cap issues, and Boldin's allotted money can now be spent on younger players like linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Or more valuable players like safety Ed Reed.
That doesn't mean it's a bad deal for the 49ers. It's a low-risk, one-year gambit. It's a better deal for the Ravens because of what it signifies. The Ravens knew Boldin wasn't part of the team's long-term future and didn't let all that post-Super Bowl bubbly intoxicate them.
Newsome knows that popular decisions usually aren't the right ones.
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The Ravens will regret getting rid of Boldin for a sixth-round pick. Yes, a sixth-rounder. That shows you how little the Ravens valued Boldin or how much the Ravens needed the cap room. Baltimore gains $5.5 million in cap room with the move, but the team loses much more in the process.
The Ravens held a VIP screening of a film featuring game highlights of their Super Bowl season Monday night. They'll be reminded of what will be gone when watching clutch catch after clutch catch in the playoffs. In Joe Flacco's words, Boldin was "a beast" in the postseason. He caught 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns in four playoff games. The Ravens don't win a Super Bowl without Boldin averaging 95 yards per game in the postseason and catching that third down-and-inches pass in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. It feels like the Ravens have done it again and pulled "a (Trent) Dilfer" on Boldin.
When the Ravens released veterans in the past, they usually had a backup plan in place. Who is going to step up to replace Boldin? He wasn't Calvin Johnson or even Stevie Johnson, but Boldin did lead the Ravens in receiving the past four seasons. He has also scored six touchdowns in eight playoff games with the Ravens. Boldin came up big in big games, showing he was just as tough mentally as he was physically.
There is a point to the argument that you want to get rid of a player before he hits his decline. The Ravens timed that perfectly when cutting Mason and Heap three years ago. Mason's skills were fading, and Heap couldn't stay on the field. But Boldin, 32, won't diminish as quickly as other receivers because his game isn't built on speed. He doesn't get much separation. He gets his receptions by fighting for the ball better than any other receiver in the league. You know what you're going to get from Boldin: around 60 catches for 850 yards and a handful of touchdowns.
Maybe Boldin has slowed down but we are talkin just a few months ago he had one hellofa playoff run. Some say he made Flacco rich catching his lobs biggest part about it is his attitude he stepped up when needed more than the 49ers secondary and more than Randy Moss.