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Ravens deal receiver Boldin to 49ers
Boldin now will be wearing a 49ers jersey in 2013.
The Ravens traded Boldin to San Francisco for a 2013 sixth-round pick on Monday, the team confirmed. Boldin must first pass a physical for the deal to be completed.
The trade prompted a disappointed response from quarterback Joe Flacco.
''Anquan was a great receiver for myself and for our football team,'' said Flacco, who signed a six-year, $120.6 million deal with the Ravens last week. ''It's sad to see a guy like that go, but at the same time you want what's best for him and you just wish him the best of luck.
''Anquan was a big part of this football team, a big part of this offense. He's one of the many reasons we won the Super Bowl.''
Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and one touchdown in Baltimore’s 34-31 Super Bowl win over San Francisco. Boldin also had five receptions for 60 yards and two scores against New England in the AFC title game. He was one of Flacco’s favorite targets during the postseason, especially in third-down situations.
However, Boldin is 32 years old and the Ravens were interested in clearing more salary cap space even after signing Flacco to a contract extension rather than designating him their franchise player. As first reported Saturday by FOXSports.com, the Ravens asked Boldin to take a pay cut from his $6 million salary for 2013 or he would get released.
Baltimore wants to re-sign some of its own pending free agents, with linebacker Dannell Ellerbe believed to top the list as the market opens at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday.
The 49ers had an opening at wide receiver with the team not expected to re-sign veteran Randy Moss. Boldin also is physically strong enough to serve as a pseudo-tight end if Delanie Walker leaves via free agency.
San Francisco had 15 draft picks, which gave the club flexibility to swing the deal. 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reported that Minnesota had offered a seventh-round choice for Boldin.
Boldin spent his first seven seasons with Arizona, which lost the 2009 Super Bowl to Pittsburgh. In that game, Boldin caught eight passes for 84 yards. Boldin and former Cardinals teammate Larry Fitzgerald were in West Africa on Monday, continuing their efforts with international relief. Boldin was expected to remain in Africa through Thursday and was not immediately available for comment.
But some of his former teammates had plenty to say.
''It's a business, man. Those things are going to happen,'' wide receiver Jacoby Jones said. ''I wish Q the best. He's always a Raven with me, and we got something they can't take from us.''
News of the deal came shortly before several members of the Ravens, including Flacco and Jones, gathered to watch a screening of a DVD documenting Baltimore's magical 2012 season.
Boldin and guard Bobbie Williams, whose contract was terminated last week, were featured prominently in the movie. Free agents Paul Kruger, Ed Reed and Dannell Ellerbe may also be gone by the time Baltimore begins training camp starts in July.
Before entering the theater, Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones said of losing Boldin: ''That's really unfortunate, but that's part of the business. Right now we're here to celebrate the time that we did have with him.''
Boldin had said he'd consider retirement rather than leave Baltimore. But going to the NFC champions might change his mind.
A 10-year veteran, Boldin led Baltimore with 65 catches for 921 yards and four TDs in 2012. He was sensational in the postseason, totaling 16 receptions for 276 yards and three scores.
Boldin was also a strong voice in the locker room and a teacher to second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith, who likely will become Flacco's top target in 2013.
''Definitely shocked,'' Smith said of the deal. ''You lose a great guy, a great leader. A mentor. All of that.''
Smith was more concerned about being in the huddle without Boldin than taking over as the Ravens' top pass-catching threat.
''It's not so much about football when you lose someone like that, someone you love like a brother and would do anything for you,'' Smith said.
Boldin came to Baltimore in a trade before the 2010 season. The team reached the playoffs during all three of his seasons with the Ravens.
''A veteran like that, you lose a lot,'' Jones said. ''You learn a lot of routes from him, moves, what he sees. He passed that on to us.''
The Ravens knew changes were coming, so the deal didn't come as a total shock.
''Not necessarily surprised,'' Flacco said. ''You see things like this happen every year in the NFL. It's just the nature of the business. ... Now we've got to put some faith in our young guys and hope they step up to the table and play the way they're capable of playing.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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