Anquan Boldin was on another continent when he learned he had been traded from the team that had won the Super Bowl in January to the team that he had helped to beat in the big game.
The now former Baltimore Ravens receiver said he had just arrived in Senegal for a three-day relief mission with Oxfam America when his phone started buzzing with the news that he was about to become a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
"I actually found out as I got off the plane last night," Boldin told ESPN producer Ashly Robinson. “Finally arriving here in Senegal, you know, there was a bunch of text messages coming through saying, you know, congratulations on getting traded to San Francisco, things like that. So ... I found out, I guess, through text messages.”
The trade won't be official until Boldin passes a physical after his return from Africa.
Boldin, the Ravens' top receiver in all of his three seasons with the team, reportedly had refused to take a $2-million pay cut from his $6-million base salary. Still, he said, he wasn't expecting to be traded.
“You know, for me, it was an initial shock because I had no clue that I was going to be traded,” the 10-year veteran said. “It was shocking at first ... but for me it is also a good thing. You know, when I look at the [49ers] organization and what they’re about and as a football team, the talent that they have ... I think it’s a good, a good place for me to be."
He also has no hard feelings toward Baltimore, as expressed in a series of tweets Tuesday: "I would like thank the Ravens fans for their incredible support for myself and my family throughout my years in Baltimore. I am grateful in getting to know you and will miss what I call home.
"I thought this was the last stop of my career but regardless of the circumstances I came here to win a Championship and in February we came home Champions."