Apparently, Percy Harvin wasn’t the only player today told to “Go West, young man.”
The world champion Baltimore Ravens sent Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. In return, Baltimore receives a sixth round pick and valuable cap relief. By trading Boldin, the Ravens have carved an additional $6 million in space for the Joe Flacco mega deal from earlier this month and receive a draft pick (albeit a late one) for a player many thought would be released.
In the short run, the ramifications for the 49ers are far more significant. With Boldin now in tow, the 49ers have another physical target to pair with Michael Crabtree for must-have downs and conversions. His arrival also allows San Francisco to better optimize Mario Manningham as the third receiver.
In one move, San Francisco has remodeled its receiving corps to accommodate the needs and strengths of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Boldin trade also redistributes strength out West. Two of last year’s NFC playoff teams are now noticeably better, and that’s before the draft, any major free agent signing, or player development has been factored in.
The Green Bay Packers are likely to stand pat, relying on their draft and develop program to keep them competitive in the changing NFL landscape. With a front office led by GM Ted Thompson, it’s fair to expect another great draft class. However, more than in previous years, Thompson has to hit pretty often in order for the Packers to keep contending.
Certainly, there will be more moves to come. Keep your eyes glued to Lombardi Ave to stay up to date with the latest NFL news and analysis.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Lombardi Ave. He has previously written for Hail to the Orange, College Hoops Net, Mocking the Draft, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.