Anquan Boldin Returns to NFC West


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

"It's a little strange, but I'll get used to it," Boldin said after hearing his name attached with his new team.

It may also be strange to 49ers fans, who spent seven seasons watching Boldin torment 49ers defenses with the Cardinals. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2003 before finishing his time in Arizona with 586 receptions for 7,520 yards and 44 touchdowns.

After three seasons in Baltimore, the three-time Pro Bowl receiver returns to the division where it all began. This time however, Boldin sees a much more competitive NFC West.

"It's definitely a competitive division," Boldin told "I was in Arizona for a long time and we always had great battles with San Fran as well as Seattle. Each team in the division has made moves to better themselves. You look at the two teams that went to the playoffs last year in Seattle and San Fran, both great teams and I think they only get better. Hopefully I can bring a little something to the table to help us get over the top."

With 11 postseason starts, including Super Bowl XLVII against the 49ers, Boldin knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle of his profession and hopes to be a positive influence on some of the 49ers younger players.

"I think for me, my job is to come in and bring leadership, help develop some of the younger guys, help Colin develop as a quarterback as well," Boldin said. "I'm just going to be a football player. I only know how to play this game one way and that's all out. That's what the fans will get from me."

Boldin knows his new team very well. He competed against the 49ers twice a year for seven seasons and says the two weeks of preparation prior to the Super Bowl is still very fresh in his mind.

While Boldin admits he didn't expect to be traded, he's excited to join a very talented roster.

"It's a very talented offense, great offensive line," Boldin noted. "They run the ball well and definitely have a great running back. Then you have a good young quarterback with a lot of weapons outside. Whenever you have those types of weapons you give defenses fits and you make them pick their poison."

One of the first things Boldin did after returning from a mission trip in Senegal was get in touch with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Boldin said it took some time to develop chemistry with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, but doesn't want that to be the case with the 49ers signal caller.

"I had a chance to talk to him," Boldin said. "I'm excited to get to work with him - smart guy, very athletic. Hopefully I can help him to grow as a quarterback."

With a young and talented roster, Boldin doesn't see this as "just another stop" in his career, but a place he can have success for quite some time.

"The one thing I can say is this team lacks nothing," Boldin said. "They're a very talented team and a team that obviously, I played against in the Super Bowl. It's a team that's right there, a team that's going to be competitive for years to come."

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