But not last season. Not with the Baltimore Ravens. And not against the same 49ers team that he’s played for all this season.
Yet when the hour came to accept the Super Bowl ring that had eluded him during a decade-long career, Boldin opted not to.
“I didn’t want to celebrate,” Boldin told Sports Illustrated in the preseason, skipping the Ravens’ White House championship visit in favor of reporting for his 49ers duties. “I’m not done. I can celebrate when my career is over. If you take time to celebrate, you kind of lose that edge, lose that hunger.”
And if this season — Boldin’s first with San Francisco — has shown anything, it’s that no hunger was lost.
“My brother [John] told me exactly how he would be,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “And sometimes it always sounds [too] good to be true. But this is a case where it really was that good.”
With a game-day demeanor bordering on the irate, Boldin utilizing his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame, has muscled and mouthed his way to one of his best receiving seasons yet.
The three-time Pro Bowler was the preferred receiving target of quarterback Colin Kaepernick this season, specifically when fellow wideout Michael Crabtree was out with injury. Boldin hauled in 85 passes for 1,179 yards and seven scores during the regular season.
And in two previous playoff road games, Boldin has nabbed a combined 11 catches for 174 yards, fighting for just about every one of them. And today in Seattle, he’ll be ready to fight some more.
“That’s just my personality,” Boldin said. “It’s always been the way that I played the game. I was always told if you don’t play the game all out, then you’re cheating yourself.”