San Francisco 49ers’ Anquan Boldin celebrates his 45 yard-catch against Carolina Panthers’ Captain Munnerlyn in the fourth quarter of their NFC
San Francisco 49ers' Anquan Boldin celebrates his 45 yard-catch against Carolina Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn in the fourth quarter of their NFC divisional playoff NFL game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Nhat V. Meyer / Mercury News)

The 49ers declared wide receiver Anquan Boldin priority No. 1 in terms of re-signing prospective free agents. They are close to getting Boldin back in the fold for 2014 and checking off that box.

An ESPN report Sunday morning said that the 49ers are "closing in" on a deal with Boldin that will keep Boldin from hitting the free-agent market.

Boldin, 33, led the 49ers in receptions and yards last season, with 85 and 1,179, respectively. He also scored seven touchdowns in his first season with the 49ers.

"There's angst, and there's work to be done," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said in Indianapolis on Thursday. "... The direction it's going is very positive because we're unanimous. It's not just me who wants Anquan Boldin back. We feel there's a process.

"It could be days, weeks, but there's a process, and it's going in a positive direction from the standpoint of the San Francisco 49ers. ... We're all in lockstep with how we feel about him."

The 49ers have until March 8 to negotiate exclusively with Boldin, as well as any of their prospective free agents. Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any team March 11.

It now appears as if the 49ers won't have to worry about competing against other teams for Boldin's services, or finding another receiver to replace their most productive offensive player from last season.

Boldin joined the 49ers in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens before the 2013 season. The trade took on added significance when incumbent No. 1 receiver Michael Crabtree tore an Achilles during an offseason workout and missed 11 games.



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Anquan Boldin of the San Francisco 49ers walks on the field during warmups prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank
Anquan Boldin of the San Francisco 49ers walks on the field during warmups prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)