Anquan Boldin is taking his time to pick his next NFL team. When he's ready to make that decision, every contender that needs help at wide receiver needs to consider him.
It would seem like the 49ers would want to keep the venerable veteran, given they have a mostly unproven mix behind top wideout Torrey Smith. But it's clear Chip Kelly thinks he's OK operating his offense without Boldin.
Despite being 35 and turning 36 in October, Boldin still has a lot left to offer as the best free agent in the league left this offseason. He's coming off catching 69 passes for 789 yards and four TDs. Although that was a dropoff from his first two strong seasons in San Francisco, it had more to do the mess at quarterback and pretty much every other offensive position.
MORE: Six first-round 'busts' with second chances
Other than getting older, Boldin hasn't really changed much through 13 years in the NFL. He's always had reliable hands and has been a savvy route-runner who's made his living working the slot.
So far, Boldin has garnered greatest interest came from the Redskins, a team he visited in March. Washington, which used a first-round pick on TCU's Josh Doctson a month later in April, already has its hands full with tough decisions on older wideouts.
Since then, Boldin has been busy in a different way. The NFL's reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year lived up to that honor by taking a mission trip to Haiti in May.
Also since then, fans of every established or wannabe playoff team have hoped their team signs him. If Boldin isn't on a team in time for minicamps in June a month ahead of training camps opening in July, it would be shocking.
Let's start at the top with last season's Super Bowl champions and this year's Super Bowl odds-on favorites. The Broncos, who have had chances to bring in Boldin before 2016, are unlikely to add him now. The Patriots are sorting through their slot options with plenty of insurance for Julian Edelman.
MORE: Bottom-dwellers that can go from worst to first
Here, then, are seven teams that could use Boldin most:
Chiefs. They didn't do much a year after splurging to get Jeremy Maclin as their No. 1. It's still Albert Wilson and second-year man Chris Conley as their next best options, and the rookie fifth-round pick is far from certain of making the final roster. This offense is based more on quick routes and efficiency toward the middle of the field for Alex Smith, and Boldin would be a difference-maker in Kansas City as a third-down possession target.
Vikings. Minnesota used a first-round pick on Laquon Treadwell to pair with second-year standout Stefon Diggs to form their starters. But as the team is doing everything it can to create a big bust-out for Teddy Bridgewater, it could use a smooth, seasoned pro to deliver short-to-intermediate production. Boldin is a much better option than former Falcon Roddy White.
Raiders. They're set with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as the starters, but they should be a little more reserved about the value of Seth Roberts as a No. 3 target for Derek Carr. Roberts was OK in the slot, but his size may be better suited to play as a backup outside. Boldin could make a short trip across the Bay and impart good wisdom on a young team looking for the playoff breakthrough.
Bengals. It's hard to buy into Brandon LaFell, currently expected to start outside opposite A.J. Green, as a big-time contributor. Rookie Tyler Boyd's route-running and upside should allow him to challenge for that role. In that scenario, LaFell is limited in his skill set to play only outside. Boldin, who had plenty of good AFC North experience playing for the Ravens, is a better true veteran replacement for Mohamed Sanu while Boyd is built to be better than Marvin Jones.
Colts. Indianapolis has tended to collect a lot of field-stretching speedsters for Andrew Luck, but with much greater emphasis on protecting Luck, it needs to get a little grittier in its receiving corps. Boldin should have appeal for his ability to get open quickly and come through on the shorter catches in traffic. Although the Colts fell short of the playoffs last season, it should be easy for Boldin to think the presence of Luck can restore that upside.
Panthers. Carolina moved on this offseason from a similarly skilled veteran, Jerricho Cotchery, and hasn't added any wide receiver of note to help replace him. Boldin would be a nice upgrade in producing as that top inside wideout for Cam Newton and insurance for recovering Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers have had success with rebound guys in their career twilight and Boldin also fits with their free-agency-on-the-cheap approach. There's no question the Super Bowl runners-up will challenge to repeat as NFC champions, giving them high appeal for Boldin.
Ravens. Baltimore has tended to make some late offseason moves for such veterans. It doesn't hurt that Boldin was once a valuable Ravens receiver, despite the team being two offensive coordinators removed since he last played for Baltimore. Questions abound in their receiving corps, such as the health of both his older replacement, Steve Smith, and second-year first-round pick Breshad Perriman. It wouldn't take much to re-create the great chemistry Boldin showed with Joe Flacco. The Ravens should be much healthier overall and look like their playoff selves where Boldin can fit them again.