Boldin adds threat, but not of the 'deep' variety

Ratto on Boldin: '49ers nailed one'

Boldin adds threat, but not of the 'deep' variety
March 11, 2013, 1:30 pm
Share This Post

Anquan Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers in the Super Bowl. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: For a complete breakdown and analysis of the 49ers' trade for Anquan Boldin, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6:00 and 10:30 on CSN Bay Area.

Anquan Boldin is a 49er, as soon as he returns from Africa and passes his physical.

Yes, of course that makes sense. Why wouldn’t it?

[NEWS: Report -- 49ers deal for Boldin]

Boldin, one of the many daggers in the quivering torso of the 49ers’ Super Bowl dreams, cost the 49ers a sixth-round pick after making it clear he wasn’t interested in taking a $2 million pay cut in Baltimore. He is already under contract with a base salary of $6 million, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

And Boldin immediately brings the 49ers an alternate threat to Michael Crabtree, to match Seattle’s earlier acquisition of Percy Harvin from Minnesota. He is a superior in-traffic receiver, as he showed the 49ers in February. His best days may be behind him, but his still-pretty-damned-good-days are in full force, and the 49ers had one fewer effective wide receiver than the normal complement for the Super Bowl contender in 2012.

All for a sixth-round pick, of which the 49ers already had several thousand. The Ravens needed the cap relief, and free agency starts Tuesday, thereby making evident Baltimore’s urgency, and the 49ers needed someone else to fatten up Colin Kaepernick’s choices beyond “Crabtree” and “Run.”

What Boldin doesn’t do, though, and you should know this, is give the 49ers access to the deep pass that Randy Moss was allegedly supposed to give. Mario Manningham is still available for that, but until he heals, Boldin, is the second Crabtree – or Crabtree 1A, if you must. And since he was once the adjunct to Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, he can handle sharing klieg lights with Crabtree.

Either way, it seems to be a fairly significant upgrade the day before the start of free agency. Next to Harvin, it is the blockbuster signing of the day, and it allows the 49ers to narrow their receiver search to that must elusive of characters, the pure deep threat.

And there’s plenty of time for BaalkBaugh to acquire something that at least resembles that.