While much of the focus of the San Francisco 49ers' offseason has centered around the quarterback position, the team has other issues to worry about. With Chip Kelly in as the head coach, he and the front office have a few key decisions to make regarding some of the franchise long-time players. One of those will center around Anquan Boldin who has an expiring contract, but wants to stay in the Bay Area.
Boldin has done everything and more for the 49ers since arriving three seasons ago in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens. He has led the team in catches all three seasons. His numbers dipped in 2015 as he put up 784 yards and four touchdowns, but some of that can be chalked up to quarterback issues. The issue is that Boldin will be 36 during next season and he still has the stats to demand a nice contract. The 49ers will not give him anything more than potentially a two-year deal at best to come back.
Paul Guttierrez of ESPN.com believes the 49ers will let Boldin hit the market and test his worth amongst other teams. Interest will be high in Boldin, but not likely at the price he wants. That will either push him back to the 49ers or elsewhere. Boldin told the media that he has not been approached about getting a new contract with the 49ers, but he has spoken with head coach Chip Kelly and is excited at the idea of playing for him.
"He called me and we had a brief conversation," Boldin said, CSNBayArea.com. "It was more of an introduction. We talked for a little bit and that was that. I think everybody is [excited]. I think it's always that way when you have a new coach. Everybody is curious about a number of different things, so we'll see how that plays out."
If Boldin departs, the 49ers have Torrey Smith and Jerome Simpson as their two best wide receivers. That is not enough for the team to get by and they could aim to make an impact at the position in the NFL Draft. According to ESPN's Todd McShay, a first-round option for San Francisco is a wide receiver. Players like Laquon Treadwell, Will Fuller or Josh Doctson would be excellent options to replace Boldin and give someone like Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick and athletic target to work with. Rishard Matthews, Travis Benjamin and Marvin Jones are the high-priced free agency options.
Boldin is making it clear that he is not done playing. Despite his age, his career is not over and his stats certainly prove it. Despite a hamstring issue that hampered him last year, Boldin wants to be back.
"No, this isn't the end," Boldin said, via the San Jose Mercury News. "For me, it's an isolated incident. I've been durable over my career. I haven't missed a game since [the 2012 regular-season finale], and that was because we'd already secured a playoff spot. . . . I'm not worried about my durability or health, at all."