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Anquan Boldin: I have a ‘real good relationship’ with Jim Harbaugh

Jim-Harbaugh-Blue-Collar-49ers-ShirtsAnquan Boldin reached a two-year, $12 million deal to remain with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. That alone should tell you that he has no problem playing for Jim Harbaugh, but Boldin reiterated that point when speaking to reporters.

“He had a big role in me coming back,” Boldin said on a conference, via Around the League. “He’s a guy I had a real good relationship with. And I just like his demeanor, the way he approaches the game. He’s a guy that wants to win. I’m the exact same way. So I think we mesh pretty good.”

Over the weekend, a report surfaced that claims Harbaugh’s “act” is wearing thin with some key Niners players. There have also been reports about Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke not speaking to each other, with some speculating that the coach’s days in San Francisco are numbered. Boldin doesn’t understand who is relaying this information.

“I don’t think anybody in the locker room has an issue with coach Harbaugh,” he said. “The way our locker room is built, we have an open-door policy. If anybody has a concern or wants to voice their opinion, they’re more than welcome to. There have been times we have voiced our concerns as players, and coach Harbaugh has listened to us and taken into consideration how we felt as players.”

On Monday, Harbaugh denied that there are any issues between him and the Niners’ front office and said there is “zero chance he leaves the team before his contract expires in 2015. The fact that Harbaugh has not been given an extension despite the team’s success since he came on board is confusing. Boldin’s decision to sign with the 49ers before testing the open market says a lot.

Anquan Boldin trade was initiated with phone call from John to Jim Harbaugh

Anquan BoldinWe hear time and time again how football is simply a business. Trading players certainly falls under that umbrella, but what if the head coaches of the two teams making the trade are brothers? Does that complicate matters or make life easier? Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh can shed some light on that.

Many were shocked when the Ravens traded playoff hero Anquan Boldin to the Niners a little over a week ago. The idea came together quickly, which sounds like it was the result of the Harbaugh brothers calling each other directly.

“It was me to my brother,” John said. “I called him up and just said, ‘Would you be interested?’ He said, ‘Heck yeah, let me go talk to (Niners GM) Trent (Baalke).’ This was about 3:30 before the 4 o’clock deadline. He ran down to Trent and they talked, and then Trent got on the phone with Ozzie and they had it worked out.”

From Jim’s standpoint, the deal may have even sounded too easy. If it seems too good to be true it probably is, which is why Jim was skeptical of even his own brother.

“I’m sure he was probably a little suspicious,” John said jokingly. “But Anquan is a great player, there’s just no denying it. From a pure value standpoint, I think they feel like they got a great deal. I know they got a great player, they got a great leader, they got a guy that will be a perfect fit in their offense in a lot of ways, and they realized that right away.”

Considering the Ravens were only asking for a sixth-round pick in return for a guy who was a beast in the playoffs, you can understand why Jim thought there might be a catch. Personally, I’m just happy the Harbaugh brothers are finally speaking again.

Torrey Smith, Ravens players frustrated over Anquan Boldin trade

Anquan BoldinWhen word surfaced on Monday that the Minnesota Vikings had traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks, Adrian Peterson was not shy about expressing his disappointment on Twitter. Later in the day, the Baltimore Ravens traded playoff hero Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. As you might expect, his teammates were just as disappointed.

The Ravens had made it quite clear that Boldin needed to take a pay cut to remain with the team, and it seemed unlikely that they would be able to find a trade partner given the fact that they had given up most of their leverage. However, San Francisco offered a sixth-round pick and Baltimore pulled the trigger. This did not please Torrey Smith.

As CSNBaltimore.com pointed out, a number of other Ravens players were also disappointed and confused after learning that the man who caught four touchdown passes in the playoffs en route to a Super Bowl championship had been dealt.

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Joe Flacco wins Super Bowl MVP over Jacoby Jones, Anquan Boldin

Joe FlaccoPrior to this postseason, very few people believed Joe Flacco was capable of leading the Baltimore Ravens to a championship — let alone be named the Super Bowl MVP. Flacco was phenomenal against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, making their typically stout defense look average at best. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 124.2. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over.

Flacco’s numbers were certainly deserving of the award, but he wasn’t the only contender. The runner-up had to be Jacoby Jones, who caught only one pass but it was a 56-yard touchdown. He also took the opening kick of the second half 108 yards for a score, which turned out to be a crucial play as the Ravens won by three.

Then, there was Anquan Boldin. Boldin has been criticized over the past couple seasons for having decling skills and not being able to separate from defenders. That wasn’t an issue against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, and his recent success continued with six catches for 104 yards and a score in the Super Bowl. He may not be able to run by the average cornerback, but Boldin proved he is one of the best possession receivers in the game by bailing Flacco out on a couple of deep throws down the field in clutch situations.

As we have learned in the past, a quarterback has to play particularly poorly to not be named Super Bowl MVP. With all the criticism Flacco has faced coupled with his outstanding performance, it turned out to be a no-brainer. That being said, the Ravens needed a complete offensive performance to beat the Niners. And that’s exactly what they got.

Ravens might release Anquan Boldin because of salary cap problems

Anquan BoldinAnquan Boldin has been one of the top offensive performers for the Baltimore Ravens this postseason and has helped lead them to the Super Bowl. It would be hard to imagine the Ravens playing without him in the future, but that might end up being the case.

Per Rotoworld, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “NFL Live” Thursday that the Ravens may end up releasing Boldin after the Super Bowl because of salary cap issues they’re facing.

Schefter says the Ravens are $5 million over the salary cap for next season, and that’s without factoring in a new deal for quarterback Joe Flacco. Boldin is scheduled to earn $6 million next season. Cutting him reportedly would save the team $5.5 million against the salary cap.

Though releasing Boldin is not something Baltimore would want to do, it’s something they may have to do.

Boldin was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals after the 2009 season for a third and fourth-round pick. Though he has not recorded a 1,000-yard season with the team, he has 14 touchdown catches. He also has five touchdown catches in seven playoff games with the team, including three this postseason.

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Anquan Boldin on Sunday’s game against the Patriots: ‘We’ll win’

anquan boldin catchThe Baltimore Ravens are heading to Super Bowl 47, according to wide receiver Anquan Boldin. They still have to make an important stop in Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, but the 10-year veteran doesn’t sound all that concerned about that.

On Wednesday, Boldin told reporters that the Ravens were going to make the outcome of this year’s playoff game against New England different than last year. You might remember in that game when Billy Cundiff shanked what would have been a game-tying 32-yard field goal as time expired. Boldin isn’t worried about a repeat performance from the Ravens.

“We’ll win,” he said confidently, according to the Ravens official website.

Boldin made a similar comment last week leading up to Baltimore’s game against the Denver Broncos, telling reporters that the outcome would be different than when Denver beat the Ravens 34-17 in Week 16. He was right. He did not, however, guarantee a victory.

Every player who is taking part in a conference championship game this weekend believes their team is going to win — or at least they should. The reason people take issue with statements like the one Boldin made is that a team seemingly gains nothing from them. It’s nothing more than bulletin board material for the opposition, and Brendon Ayanbadejo has already provided the Patriots with plenty of that by ranting on Twitter over the weekend. I’m always an advocate for letting the play do the talking.

Chest bump to Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com

Anquan Boldin: ‘I wanted Denver’

anquan boldin catchAnquan Boldin had an outstanding game in the NFL playoffs on Sunday to help the Ravens beat the Colts 24-9. Baltimore advances in the playoffs and will travel to Denver to face the Broncos next Saturday.

Boldin said after the game that he wanted to face Denver to get revenge.

“I wanted Denver,” Boldin said, “because they beat us.

“We’ll make it different.”

Boldin was referring to the Broncos’ 34-17 Week 15 win over the Ravens in Baltimore. Denver led 17-0 at halftime and was up by as much as 28 points in the game. They dominated time of possession 38:34 to 21:24, forced two turnovers including a pick six, and out-gained the Ravens 350-278.

The Ravens have momentum entering Saturday’s playoff game at Denver, but so do the Broncos. Denver finished the regular season on an 11-game winning streak to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Baltimore lost four of its last five games in the regular season but came through on Sunday.

Boldin was truly spectacular in the game. He had five catches for 145 yards and a touchdown (pictured above), and he consistently made difficult catches. But Baltimore had a tough time with Indianapolis overall. I’m not alone in thinking it will be a big challenge for them to beat the Broncos on the road, regardless of how badly Boldin wanted to face them.