After the 49ers announced the re-signing of wide receiver Anquan Boldin Monday, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick went to Twitter to express his feelings.
Wrote Kaepernick, alongside a picture of he and Boldin together along the Niners sideline in 2013: “Hold up wait a minute, yall thought we was finished?! Brought @anquanboldin back, now it’s back to business! ….. Welcome back fam!”
Kaepernick was understandably pleased. Boldin had a huge year in his first season in a 49ers uniform, and his re-signing for two more years ensures that (barring injury) San Francisco will go into 2014 with both Boldin and Michael Crabtree on the field. And with those two receivers playing at the same time, Kaepernick was a much more effective quarterback.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, in fact, that Kaepernick’s performance was night and day different over the second half of last season when Crabtree returned from injury.
In his first 11 games, without Crabtree, Kaepernick had an 86.6 quarterback rating, averaging 185.2 yards per game. He threw for 14 TDs and seven interceptions.
Over his final eight eight games, including the playoffs, Kaepernick’s rating was 91.3 and he averaged 217 yards per game. He had 10 TD passes and four interceptions. Over the final five regular-season games, when the 49ers went 5-0, Kaepernick’s passer rating was 101.4.
“Kaepernick will have Boldin and Crabtree together for a full season for the first time in 2014,” wrote Branch. “When that duo was together last year, Kaepernick had a slight uptick in production. And, figuring Crabtree will be healthier and more productive, that twosome could be more formidable next season.”
In addition, the team no doubt will be adding another potential standout wideout through the draft and will have second-year receiver Quinton Patton fully healthy. The 49ers receiving corps, with the re-signing of Boldin, should give Kaepernick more playmaking targets than he’s had since taking over the starting quarterback job midway through the 2012 season.
Boldin had 85 catches for 1,179 yards in 2013, the most yards by a 49ers wideout since 2002. And his chemistry with Kaepernick was terrific. He became the quarterback’s go-to receiver in Crabtree’s absence. As Branch reported, Kaepernick’s quarterback rating when targeting Boldin was 118.6. In those circumstances, he was 85-of-123 with seven TDs and no interceptions.
“Physically, I feel fine,” Boldin, 33, told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee on Monday. “I feel as if I can play five more years. So that’s not a problem for me. But we’ll see how it goes.”