Monday, December 23, 2013
By David Fucillo
The San Francisco 49ers head into the offseason having to deal with several contract situations. Aside from considering Colin Kaepernick's new contract, they have several key veterans coming up for new contracts. Two of those include wide receiver Anquan Boldin and kicker Phil Dawson. Friday evening, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said on his weekly radio segment that the team had already had some brief discussions with the two free agents. He said they'd start really working on it after the season, and hopefully get something done.
Boldin and Dawson have both been critical additions this offseason. Boldin currently has 70 receptions for 958 yards, and has been a critical weapon in Colin Kaepernick's arsenal. Before Michael Crabtree returned to the field, Boldin was Kap's safety blanket. Vernon Davis was the deep threat, but Boldin was the guy Kap looked to for some critical gains. Since Crabtree's return, Boldin has continued to play an important role, and Crabtree has opened him up further at times.
Dawson is having one of the best seasons of his career. He has converted 27 of 30 field goal attempts, and set the 49ers franchise record for consecutive field goals converted. After spending a season wondering if David Akers would actually connect on any field goals, Dawson has been a breath of fresh air.
As we head into the office, I'm not really sure what to expect with contracts for either player. Boldin wanted a new deal in Baltimore, but was traded because they couldn't agree to terms. The 49ers need wide receiver options, with Michael Crabtree and Quinton Patton the only receivers of note signed beyond this year. They also have Chuck Jacobs on the practice squad. Boldin would be very helpful in building the wide receiver corps for next year, but do they have room to work with him on a deal?
The 49ers signed Dawson to a one-year deal. Dawson is 38, but some of the best kickers seem to be able to last longer in the NFL. I'm not overly concerned about age in this regard. But again, do they try and find a kicker in the draft or undrafted free agency? Dawson has shown how valuable a solid kicker is, so that will have to be considered.