Anquan Boldin will reunite with two former co-workers for the 2015 regular season.
A week after the San Francisco 49ers signed defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to a two-year contract, the club officially announced the signing of wide receiver Torrey Smith to a five-year deal on Wednesday.
Boldin played with both men during stints with the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens, respectively. With regards to Smith, Boldin told 49ers.com that he played an active role in recruiting the 6-foot, 205-pound wideout to the Bay Area.
"I told him what kind of organization it was," Boldin said, "a first-class organization, a place where they care about you, a place where you have an opportunity to win, all of that."
Smith, 26, was signed to team up with Boldin as San Francisco's starting wide receivers. The two held that role as the one-two punch of the Ravens passing attack for two seasons, culminating with a win over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
The wideout played collegiately at Maryland before spending the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Ravens.
Boldin couldn't help but see the irony in Smith being brought in to help San Francisco win its sixth Super Bowl title.
"I don't think you could even write that in a script," Boldin said. "That's so unusual, but we're in this opportunity and I look forward to playing with him again."
Smith comes to the 49ers after he posted a career-high 11 touchdown receptions in 2014. For his four-year career, Smith has played in 64 games (62 starts) and has caught 213 passes for 3,591 receiving yards with 30 touchdowns. Smith, a second-round draft pick by the Ravens in 2011, has averaged 16.9 yards per reception in the NFL.
Boldin said he expects Smith's all-around talent to shine in the 49ers offense.
"He blocks and catches intermediate passes," Boldin began, "everybody knows he can take the top off a defense, but he gets yards after the catch. He's the total package."
San Francisco caught five passes of 40-or-more yards as a team last season. Smith recorded two such receptions and has 19 receptions of 40-or-more yards in his career.
"It's something that we need as an offense," said Boldin, who has recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the 49ers. "I think he's real explosive. That's another element that he can add to our offense."
Another important aspect of Smith's laundry list of qualities is his character. Smith, like Boldin, was nominated as his team's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award representative last season.
Boldin has witnessed Smith's passion for football. San Francisco's leading receiver also has a favorite story on Smith's selfless attitude towards the game.
Smith's younger brother, Tevin Chris Jones, was killed in a motorcycle accident less than 24 hours before a showdown game between the Ravens and New England Patriots in 2012. Instead of sitting the game out, Boldin recalled how Smith insisted he suited up to play on that Sunday night.
"We're about to play the Patriots and I got call first thing that morning," Boldin said. "It was (Ravens coach) John Harbaugh. He had told me that Torrey just lost his brother. For me, that was shocking because I was close with Torrey. It's one of those things where you don't know what to say. I was just in shock.
"We had a night game that day, and I got that call first thing in the morning. It woke me up. I texted him to see how he was doing and to see how his family was doing. I had no idea that he would be thinking about football, let alone thinking about playing that night. But, it just so happened he played that night and had a great game against the Patriots – caught two touchdowns. It just goes to show what kind of person he is. He wanted to be out there for us. He felt like if he hadn't been out there with the team, he would have let us down. It speaks a lot to his character."
Character means a lot to Smith. He created the Tevin Jones Memorial Scholarships Fund in honor of his brother, and he was nominated last year for the NFL's newly created sportsmanship award. Smith even won an award last season for his professionalism with the Baltimore media.
Boldin knows what type of player the 49ers have brought in at the start of free agency. He also spoke to Smith's future impact in the San Francisco community.
"I think they're getting a great person as well as a great football player," Boldin said. "He definitely does a lot for his community. It's where his heart is. Him and his wife Chanel, I think they do a great job of partnering with people in the community. I think besides being a good football player, the 49ers are getting someone who really cares about people and really gives back."
It sounds like San Francisco has found a way to clone Boldin's top traits.