A week ago, 49ers officials said that re-signing receiver Anquan Boldin was a priority. Today they made good on that effort, agreeing to terms with their leading receiver from 2013 on a two-year deal that pays Boldin $6 million a season.
There had been strong hints that a deal was imminent, but Boldin broke the news himself on Twitter: "49er fans, I wanted to be the first to tell you that I'm returning to San Francisco," he wrote. "Looking forward to joining my teammates, coaching staff and fans to bring back another championship to the Bay Area. Let's go after our Quest For Six."
Boldin led the 49ers with 1,179 receiving yards during the regular season and caught seven touchdowns. He and tight end Vernon Davis caught all but one of Colin Kaepernick's touchdown passes in 2013. Michael Crabtree caught the only other one. Boldin will turn 34 later this year, which is why the 49ers did not lock him up for a long-term deal. However, his yardage total was his best since 2006 when he was with the Cardinals, and the physical wideout did not miss any time due to injury.
The 49ers also wanted Boldin back because of what he can impart to the team's younger wideouts. They drafted one of those young wideouts, Quinton Patton, in the fourth round last year. They are expected to take at least one more in May's draft, which is considered one of the deepest in recent memory when it comes to wide receivers.
Boldin had a near-instantaneous rapport with Kaepernick last offseason. That became critical when Crabtree tore his Achilles' tendon in May, an injury that would keep him out of the lineup until December. While Kaepernick did not find a rapport with the team's remaining wideouts, that was not the case with Boldin. According to Pro Football Focus, the Kaepernick threw 123 passes towards Boldin last season. Their other wideouts only saw 95 targets combined.
The Ravens traded Boldin to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick a year ago because they were unwilling to pay him the $6 million he was scheduled to earn. His new deal pays him exactly that and includes $8.5 million guaranteed.
-- Matt Barrows