Why the San Francisco 49ers Should Let Anquan Boldin Leave

This is the first portion of a debate around Anquan Boldin‘s potential return to the 49ers. This article tells why the San Francisco 49ers should keep him.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers should let Anquan Boldin walk. Boldin was a Godsend this year to a depleted receiving corps, but he is 33 years old now and will provide diminishing returns for the remainder of his career. Rarely do receivers last this long in the NFL, and despite Boldin’s excellent season, Father Time always wins.

The light at the end of the tunnel is visible for Boldin. It would be much wiser of the 49ers to draft in another receiver–perhaps trading up, if need be–and groom him and underrated Quinton Patton to be Michael Crabtree‘s sidekick. Even if the younger players would be slightly behind Boldin for half a year to a year, they would have much higher ceilings, much greater potential, and would not be retiring in a couple of years. A team without many needs, the 49ers could potentially trade up for  Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins should either fall out of the top ten. They traded pretty much an entire draft for a certain Jerry Rice, and that worked out all right.

Lastly, the 49ers simply cannot afford to pay Boldin the $6 million that he cost this past year. Colin Kaepernick needs a new, much pricier, contract–as does Aldon SmithDonte Whitner, too, could be getting a new deal–or joining Boldin on his way out the door. Then there is Mike Iupati, who’s contract expires after this next season.

If this were any other sport, the 49ers could easily re-sign Boldin, but with the NFL’s salary cap, it would just not be prudent to do so.

Topics: 49ers, 49ers 2013, 49ers 2014, 49ers Free Agents, Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers

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  • patchel

    Dude. “Traded pretty much and entire draft.” Huh? They traded the 28th and 56th pick for the 16th and swapped thirds.

  • Chris D

    Ummm it would be pretty stupid to get rid of Boldin. Aldon Smith is going to be optioned just for the fact its a smaller salary and his crashing cars picking up felonies. Also Kap is already talking about taking less to make sure he has the same team signed which if you followed this season at all Boldin is the reason we were sitting in the playoffs in the first place. Gore Boldin and Davis carried the offense to the playoffs this year, it wasnt Kaps legs and crab was out. Name any other receiver helping us win this past year? Not to mention this guy is a vet player whom has no issues taking hits and moving the ball for extra yardage. Remember our other vet receiver the year before Moss? Did you ever see him do anything close to what Boldin can do?

    The worst mistake the niners can make is to get rid of that man for a measly 6 mil when there is players that should walk and are way over paid (Carlos Rogers). Manningham wont be back next year, Rogers should walk and there is his salary pretty much. Keep him hes a valuable asset.

  • Patrick Lanigan

    Receivers do hit the wall at or before Boldin’s age, but most receivers rely on speed rather than strength. Physicality lasts a lot longer than speed–and who better to “groom” a young receiver for two years than Anquan Boldin?

  • Benjamin J Perez

    It would be foolish to let Boldin go. He’s proven that he can make big plays. The 49ers are on an upward swing. This is not the time to rely on an untested WR.

  • Jim Waggoner

    Gotta keep Boldin. Niners would be hard pressed to find an equal performer for less than what Boldin will require on the open market. You know what you’re getting with Boldin…it’s a safe and smart decision.

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