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March 12, 2013 at 11:05 PM   |   Comments

49ers acquire Boldin; trade Alex Smith

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 12 (UPI) -- The San Francisco 49ers finalized two deals Tuesday, acquiring wide receiver Anquan Boldin from Baltimore and trading quarterback Alex Smith to Kansas City.

San Francisco picked up Boldin from the Ravens for a sixth-round choice in the updating NFL draft, and sent Smith to the Chiefs and new Coach Andy Reid in return for an undisclosed 2013 draft choice -- but apparently not the overall No. 1 pick owned by the Chiefs -- and a conditional pick in 2014.

Boldin had 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the last post-season. That includes six receptions for 104 yards and the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII, where the Ravens beat the 49ers 34-31.

Boldin was with Baltimore for three seasons after playing in Arizona for seven. He has 772 receptions for 10,165 yards and 58 touchdowns in 140 NFL games.

Smith had been the 49ers' starting quarterback until he was hurt last season and lost the position to Colin Kaepernick. With Kaepernick at quarterback, the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl.

Smith, 28, was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft and passed for 14,280 yards and 81 touchdowns in eight seasons in San Francisco.


Buffalo Bills release QB Fitzpatrick

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y., March 12 (UPI) -- The Buffalo Bills said Tuesday they have released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, following a report he declined the team's offer of a restructured contract.

The Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported the 30-year-old quarterback was contracted to get a $3 million dollar bonus Wednesday but the team did not want to pay it, and offered a restructured deal instead.

"In the end, we had to do what we feel is best for our football team and it was a very difficult decision," said Bills General Manager Buddy Nix. "Ryan did some great things as our starting quarterback. He is a class act, a terrific guy with a great family and has been involved in many charitable endeavors in our community. But difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward."

Nix said the team will focus on "adding another quarterback to our roster and we will continue to explore every option available to us."

The release of Fitzpatrick leaves the Bills with Tarvaris Jackson, who was third string last season, as the team's only experienced quarterback, the newspaper said.


WR Percy Harvin traded to Seattle

RENTON, Wash., March 12 (UPI) -- Wide receiver Percy Harvin was officially traded to the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday, with the Minnesota Vikings receiving a series of draft choices.

The deal was reported Monday but couldn't be completed until the new NFL year became Tuesday.

Despite being limited to nine games last season, Harvin caught 62 passes for 677 yards. He was leading the NFL in kick return average (35.9 yards) before an ankle injury in a Week 9 game against Seattle.

The Vikings will have Seattle's first-round pick and a seventh-round choice this year along with a third-round pick in 2014 in exchange for Harvin, who reportedly was having issues with Vikings management.

Over a four-year NFL career, Harvin has 280 catches for 3,302 yard and 20 touchdowns. He's also returned five kickoffs for touchdowns.


Bears ink tight end Bennett to 4-year deal

CHICAGO, March 12 (UPI) -- Free-agent, tight end Martellus Bennett has signed a four-year contract with the Chicago Bears, the team announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bennett was paid $2.5 million last season while playing for the New York Giants one-year contract when he racked up career highs of 55 receptions, 626 yards and five touchdowns.

Considered one of the top tight ends on the free agent market, he spent his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, compiling 85 receptions for 846 yards and four TDs in 60 games.

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