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49ers trade for Anquan Boldin; Cardinals release Beanie Wells

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The NFC West making headlines.

USA TODAY Sports

Big news Monday in the NFC West: The Seahawks traded their 2013 1st-round pick (and change) for Vikings' WR/RB Percy Harvin, the Niners went out and traded a 6th-round pick to Baltimore for Ravens' WR Anquan Boldin, and the Cardinals cleared a little cap space by releasing former 1st-round pick but injury riddled RB Beanie Wells.

The Ravens had recently asked Boldin to take a pay cut but the 32-year old refused; there had been rumors he'd be released over the past few days, but when San Francisco offered the Ravens a 6th round pick to take Boldin and his $6M salary for 2013, the Harbaugh brothers had a deal.

The Niners get a dependable, tough slot receiver who absolutely balled out in the Playoffs and Super Bowl this year to the tune of 22 catches for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns. They also get his $6M salary and cap hit - which they do have room for with the recent trade of Alex Smith. It will be interesting to see if the Niners look to extend Boldin a couple of years in order to possibly lighten his cap hit in '13.

As for the Cardinals, they finally gave up on Beanie Wells, the disappointing first round pick from 2009 that has struggled with injuries and sub-par production in his four years in the NFL. In 2011, it looked like Wells was on his way to becoming a solid contributor for Arizona when he rushed for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he only played in 8 games in 2012 and averaged a measly 2.7 ypc. According to Brian McIntyre, releasing Wells saves $1.4575 million in cap space this season for the Cardinals. It should be interesting to see how much interest Wells gets now on the open market - he's still a talented and physical power runner and in 2011 he looked very good - but his ability to stay in games and stay healthy has severely stunted his development.