In a somewhat surprising move, at least surprising to me, the Baltimore Ravens parted ways with a favorite target of Joe Flacco. Anquan Boldin was traded to the team the Ravens defeated in Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49′ers. And for essentially nothing. The 6th round pick in the 2013 draft the Niner’s gave up for Boldin in no way reflects his value. Quarterback Joe Flacco, who encouraged Boldin to” stick to his guns” regarding the money the team owed him, is already lamenting the loss of his favorite and most dependable target.
With the recent signing of Joe Flacco to the richest contract in NFL history, the team was needing Boldin to take a pay cut. Boldin declined, feeling he had earned the right to play out his contract and rightfully so. Boldin was clearly the best receiving option on any team in the post season. Flacco will miss the sure handed Boldin. Whenever there was a play that needed to be made, Flacco would look to Boldin. And most of the time, Boldin would come through.
Yes the Ravens were able to dump the $6 million dollars that Boldin was due but this deal is really a steal for the Niner’s. The Niner’s are getting a real leader in the locker room as well as a leader on the field. This will open up the offense for Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and the running game. The move makes defenses have to contend with 2 serious receiving threats. The role that was left unfulfilled by Mario Manningham. The move makes you wonder what will become of Manningham.
The NFC West was a strong division last season. Even the Rams and Cardinals had their moments, but with the addition of Boldin to the Niner’s combined with the Seahawks acquisition of Percy Harvin, the division will once again be a force. It may be more top heavy than last year with the Rams losing some key offensive pieces (Jackson and Amendola) and the Cardinals being in a year of transition. These moves are certainly a case of the rich getting richer.
These moves are the first major transactions of what will be a great NFL free
agency period, leading up to a draft that is critical for many teams. The draft will be the most important aspect of the Panthers off season when it comes improving their roster. With the limited cap space we have, the Panthers could not pull off major moves like these. I can only hope the Panthers are doing their due diligence in selecting whom they will select in the draft.
Gettleman could really set this franchise up for long term success with as deep as this draft is at certain positions. He was brought in to do just that. I hope he can deliver.
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