As the St. Louis Rams prepare for life without Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola, and Brandon Gibson, two NFC West rivals acquired big time offensive threats.
San Francisco traded a 6th round draft pick for WR Anquan Boldin (and his $6 million salary), while Seattle gave up a 1st round draft pick for WR Percy Harvin.
Anquan Boldin is licking his chops knowing he’s back in the NFC West. Boldin spent seven seasons with the Arizona Cardinals from 2003-2009 including their Super Bowl XLIII loss to Pittsburgh. During his tenure, Boldin became the fastest wideout ever to reach 500 receptions, in part because of his damage done against St. Louis.
In 13 games against, Boldin has caught 83 passes for 1138 yards, his most against any team in the NFL. He’s recorded 50 first downs and scored six touchdowns against the Rams. Granted, Boldin benefited from this quarterback named Kurt Warner — and his damage came against guys like Jerametrius Butler, Travis Fisher, Ron Bartell, Tye Hill, Fakhir Brown, Jonathan Wade, O.J. Atogwe, Corey Chavous … ok, I’ll stop.
At first glance, a sixth-round pick is nothing. To San Fran, the pick is one of 15 they hold in 2013. The real caveat is his $6 million price tag for a 32-year old receiver. The 49ers will likely try to restructure his contract to lessen the cap hit.
Boldin’s numbers have regressed. He has not surpassed 1,000 yards receiving since 2009, and he had four touchdowns in the regular season. But when the playoffs came, Boldin racked up 22 catches for 380 yards and another four scores, including one in Super Bowl XLVII against his new team. His performance likely kept other teams willing to pay up.
Regardless, QB Colin Kaepernick now has another big, physical receiver alongside Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. How they fix their secondary with a low bank account remains to be seen. Expect them to cut WR Mario Manningham to free some space.
St. Louis thought they had Manningham in the bag last offseason before he jolted to SF.
Harvin, 24, has great potential as a special player, but his questionable ego paired with lingering injuries wave red flags. Harvin played in only 9 games last season due to an ankle injury, and he suffers from consistent migraines.
In 40 career games, Harvin has 20 touchdown receptions, and another five in kick return scores. He’s a dynamic player that can lineup anywhere on the field. His versatility and speed make him a huge threat.
The Seahawks gave up a 1st and 7th round pick this year, and a middle round pick in 2014. If Harvin stays healthy and carries on his success, Minnesota might be shooting themselves in the foot for a while.
FREE AGENCY OPENS
Fair: Steven Jackson wants his shot at the lead role for a contending team.
Truth: That doesn’t mean Jackson won’t share time for a contender.
Danny Amendola’s agents expect some team for offer him a contract similar to the five-year, $30 million deal that Brian Hartline got to stay in Miami. I guarantee should that come true, Amendola becomes a cap casualty at this time next year.
Howard Balzer tweeted the Rams have $8 million of cap room available, which accounts for estimated $6.1 million they will need for rookie pool. With only 44 players under contract, efficient and wise spending will test GM Les Snead.