The San Francisco 49ers just sent tight end Vernon Davis his one-way ticket to Denver to go play with quarterback Peyton Manning and former Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. The deal is reported to be for late round picks, meaning that the Niners were either looking to get rid of him at any cost or they are wanting to rebuild this team in new head coach Jim Tomsula's image. Either way, it opens up another trade that the Ravens might be interested in.
Former Raven wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Think about it for a second. You have Boldin, who the Ravens got rid of for a late round pick because he was unwilling to rework the last year of his contract that would have cost the Ravens $6 million. Now, with the Niners having their own flea market on their players and Boldin's contract being far more cap friendly, the Ravens could show some interest.
While Anquan Boldin is 35-years old as of right now, he does have a contract through 2018. The Ravens also have a need for a veteran wide receiver since Steve Smith Sr. went down with an Achilles injury. Given the familiarity with Boldin and my feeling that the Niners would get rid of him for a seventh-round pick, the Ravens could easily pull the trigger here.
Now the reason that the Ravens won't do it is because they want to get their young players involved in the passing game instead. That is also a solid strategy, but the Ravens have been very open about wanting to see Steve Smith Sr. back in purple next season if he wants to suit up again. Keep in mind that Senior will be 37-years old at that point.
For those of you that will say that Boldin might not have much left in the tank at his age and with the injuries he's sustained during his career, guess again. It was the same argument used when the Ravens got rid of him in the first place and since that time, Boldin has averaged 1120 yards per season in San Francisco. The Ravens saw him closely as he put up 102 yards on 5 receptions in week 6.
Boldin is dealing with a hamstring/knee injury, which could also be a reason to derail any trade. Yet, the trade wouldn't really be just for this season, but for next year as an insurance plan for Steve Smith Sr. not coming back. If Senior were to come back, you can keep both fresher by rotating them in and hopefully having both gritty players at full strength down the stretch. Niners Nation has an interesting take on what the Niners might have done by not having him active this last week.
My initial thought is that there is not time he can get completely healthy by Tuesday's deadline, but I had a couple ideas on this.The first that the team might have deactivated to get him healthier by the deadline. Maybe they felt he was close enough to play, but figured if they are going to deal him, why risk aggravating the injury?
The second is that even if Boldin is not 100 percent healthy, maybe the 49ers could still do a deal with both sides aware of the injury. A player cannot be released while injured without an injury settlement. However, what's to stop two teams from completing a trade for an injured player if both sides are aware of the nature of the injury? I am checking on the rules regarding this, but one option would be using a conditional pick that is based on playing time.
As with any trade talk right before the deadline, this almost assuredly won't happen, but then again I never would have thought that Peyton Manning would be throwing to Vernon Davis next week.