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January 4, 2014
Boldin back in 2014? 49ers coaching staff has cast its vote

boldinPack.jpg

Do Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaches want Anquan Boldin, scheduled to become a free agent in March, back for the 2014 season? No one has enunciated that position to this point, but the fact that Boldin won the team's Bill Walsh Award on Friday is a strong indication of a 'yes' vote.

While the team's other MVP honor, the Len Eshmont Award, which went to linebacker NaVorro Bowman, is voted on by players, the coaching staff votes for the Walsh award. In his first year with the 49ers, Boldin had more receiving yards than any 49ers pass catcher since Terrell Owens in 2002, he and Vernon Davis kept the passing game afloat for three-quarters of the season while Michael Crabtree was returning from his Achilles' injury and he's been an excellent role model/mentor to young receivers like Quinton Patton.

Earlier this year, general manager Trent Baalke called Boldin, 33, the "consummate professional." "There is no better pro, in my opinion, than Anquan," Baalke said in October. "He is the consummate professional. He's a leader, he's a mentor. He's a great family man. He is a class act."

Of course, the future will depend on Boldin's position and the 49ers' salary-cap situation. Boldin last year reportedly refused to accept a pay cut without an extension from the Ravens, which prompted his trade - for a sixth-round pick - to San Francisco. Boldin is making $6 million in base salary this year, a contract the 49ers inherited from the Ravens.

Unlike veteran receiver Randy Moss, who last postseason complained about his role in the 49ers' offense, Boldin seems to be content in San Francisco, telling reporters on Friday "I felt like I fit right in" upon coming to Santa Clara.

Will he be back? The coaching staff has cast its vote.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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