49ers trade A.J. Jenkins to Chiefs for WR Jonathan Baldwin

The 49ers just announced they’ve traded A.J. Jenkins to the Chiefs for wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin.

Here’s a written statement from Trent Baalke: “We would like to thank A.J. for his efforts as a member of the 49ers and wish him all the best with the Kansas City Chiefs. We are pleased to add Jonathan to our team and look forward to incorporating him into our offense. Both players have been presented a great opportunity for a new beginning with their respective teams.”

The Chiefs drafted Baldwin (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) with the 26th pick in the 2011 draft. Last season, he caught 20 passes for 325 yards and one touchdown.

Do you like this trade? Why or why not?

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  1. What are the salary cap ramifications? I know the 9ers were stuck with Jenkins because of the hit on the cap they would take if they cut him this yr. Are they in the same situation with Baldwin?

    1. OC. im guessing here……but i think the price would still be to high to cut him this year….but…..he has one year less on his contract (baldwin) i assume, because he was drafted a year earlier (2011). So it probably would be cheaper if we did cut him now, but we would still have some dead money.

    1. Answers all of the “will baalke own up to his mistakes….?” Questions.
      Way to go TB!
      I don’t know much bout this Baldwin guy, other than the passes from Alex he dropped last game

      1. @Dangle: You don’t know much about Baldwin? I’ve known about him since he was a junior @ Pitt. And that’s not a good thing. He has the same issues as Jenkins, except Jenkins has a history of catching the ball. Baldwin doesn’t. He’s not only an underachiever, he just inexplicabally drops everything. He dropped a perfect slant from Alex Smith on Fri. I wasn’t surprised. But I’m surprised the 49ers wanted him. Seeing how I would come on here from time to time and see most you of roasting AJ Jenkins, you won’t miss a beat, soon as Baldwin hits the field.

      2. @Jai

        I watched & kept track of Baldwin his rookie year because he was on my fantasy football team. Baldwin’s best highlight that year if you remember was the Monday Nite Football game against the Chargers when he caught something like a 5o yard bomb for a TD. He had a great game that night but after that seemed to just be inconsistent and have “flash plays” the rest of the year. Hopefully Harbs can coach this kid up because he has a ton of talent and great size but is somewhat of a headcase.

      3. This is not about getting a better receiver. It’s about creating cap room. At least I assume so. I believe Baldwin is a smaller cap number and when they cut him it won’t hurt like cutting AJ.

        Read my lips…Baldwin WILL NOT make the team!

        Lockett and Osgood are better options than him because they play special teams.

      4. @ninersnation: The only reason I know anything about Baldwin is because Larry Fitzgerald is one of my all time favorite college WRs. I read about how Pitt signed Baldwin outta high school to be the next Fitzgerald. That’s a joke! He never even came close. Trust me, this guy has a glass heart. Kaep, if the game is on the line, don’t throw it to him.

      5. lol. Jai, nobody is going to confuse Baldwin with Larry Fitzgerald. I’m usually pessimistic so i’m not expecting much from Baldwin either but i’ve learned to not doubt Harbaugh’s motivation tactics. A.J. Jenkins problem was physical, but Baldwin’s problem is between his ears, if Harbs can’t fix him no one will.

    1. @ptwn: Lol!!! And you think your WR problems are over? Baldwin can’t even catch balls from Alex Smith. How do you think he would fare catching Kaep’s ball, the strongest arm in the history of the game? You will be very stressed dude. Just go sit in your massage chair like I do. If you don’t have one I can sell you one. Seriously, I sell them all over the world.

      1. Hey he at least caught 20 balls last year…about 20 more than AJ. Still can’t imagine a top pick not even making one play his entire first year. Not One!

      2. How many balls has he attempted to catch from Smith. He had Cassel and Quinn as his QB’S. That is really great two.

    1. Fantastic trade if Baldwin makes the team.

      Baldwin has 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns through two NFL seasons. That average is just about in line with what they got from Randy Moss last year.

  2. Helps the running game, big target, 6’4″ wing span in the red zone. Drops passes though. Maybe a change in scenery is what they both need. Baalke is not playing though. ……

    1. That’s what I was saying. At minimum he can block in the running game. Plus he matches up well with the Seahawks physical corner backs.

  3. Some crow to be eaten here. Grant got a steady stream of attacks for being on Jenkins azz. Call it how we “see” it. A bust is a bust. It’s just that some of you homers have broken wing syndrome. Put the emotion aside and just watch. The truth plays itself out…..
    Baalke whiffed. Jenkins is not NFL calibur…..

      1. No I think Grant and everybody else is still wrong about Jenkins. I believe he will go to KC and get busy. I think AJ had too much pressure here from the get go. Many of you didn’t know who Jenkins was when he was drafted, so many of you started criticizing from day one. Some players thrive on that type of pressure, and some can’t handle it and go in the other direction. Unfortunately, the latter would be AJ. AJ got here and let all of the negative noise get to him. IMO, going to play for Andy Reid will put AJ on the right track. He just needs a change of scenery

        Baldwin? Uh….IMO, he just can’t play. And don’t forget, he aint the fastest WR either. He’s around a 4.6

      2. AJ has the physical tools, but not mental tools. He was too intimidated to even workout with Jerry Rice when invited. That was the first red flag.

        I very much doubt he’ll be able to produce w/the Chiefs, unless he gets hypnotism treatments for his confidence.

      3. Right! Like Fleener is lighting it up in Indy! Jenkins didn’t work out, he’s not the first 1rd bust, nor will he be the last. TB gets paid to make decisions, more times than not, he’s found talent, see Smith, Aldon.

    1. Bay,

      Grant may be proven right, but right now Jenkins is going to a HC who likes small and fast WR’s and has had some success with them, so hold off on the Jenkins is not NFL caliber comments for a little longer.

      1. Totally true and like Harbaugh said, careful giving up on someone too early. We’ll have to wait and see. If Jenkins does make it in the NFL, GC will hear it directly from him I suspect. Right now, Grant can crow, tomorrow may different.

    2. Let’s not revise history too much here. Grant gave the selection of Jenkins an F because the 49ers didn’t draft his crush, Coby Fleener, and because Grant felt Jenkins was merely a slot receiver who would not help solve the 49ers’ red zone problems (which was another way of saying he didn’t like the pick because it wasn’t Fleener).

      That most of us preferred to defer to Baalke, given his overall track record in talent acquisition, or wanted to hold off on judging Jenkins until there was some actual NFL data to examine hardly means we should eat crow.

      But, yes, even if they came to their conclusions prematurely, Grant and Jack ultimately were correct with regard to Jenkins’ (in)ability to help the 49ers.

      1. Grant is above that, on the other hand I am not. Called it right from the beginning and took a lot of heat for it over the last 16 months.

      2. Grant said Stephen Hill was the best WR in the draft too. Let’s keep things in perspective. Grant wanted to trade picks to move up and take Fleener and that is why he didn’t like the Jenkins pick more than anything. Grant deserves credit for sticking his neck out on numerous things but this was not a case of him looking at Jenkins and saying he couldn’t play. That came later.

      3. Yea Jack, but Grant was losing his mind on draft day because the 49ers & everybody else was passing on his Coby Fleener crush. How’s that working out? Need a update?…….

        Fleener’s struggles continue; now banged up

        Coby Fleener exited Sunday night’s preseason game with a “mild knee sprain,” the Colts announced.
        Injury to insult. For the second straight preseason game, Fleener struggled mightily before the departure, this time failing to reel in any passes, dropping one over the middle, and not even seeing a Matt Hasselbeck throw intended for him down the seam. In the preseason opener, Fleener lost a fumble and dropped a touchdown. He seems to get jittery and lose his focus on traffic, shying from contact. Fleener can’t be trusted as a back-end TE1 pick.

      4. Niner,

        Fleener had the second most catches of any rookie TE in the league last year. Not too shabby.

        I agree though that the first 2 preseason games have been rough. A fumble in week 1, and a bad drop yesterday when Luck threaded the needle to him. Disappointing after reports were that he was having a solid camp.

      5. Did you guys see that pass Luck threw to Fleener? Running to his left and he throws a pinpoint dart through about 3 players in the area. Luck is going to be something special for a long time.

      6. “Grant said Stephen Hill was the best WR in the draft too. Let’s keep things in perspective.”

        Hill had 21 catches and 3 TDs last year with Mark Sanchez as his QB. Imagine what he could have done here with Smith and Kaepernick last year.

      7. Jack,

        Hill is struggling and many in the NY media are wondering about his future. Same type of situation as the guys who were just traded for each other. Hill was raw and taken in the second round. Grant said he was the best WR in the draft and would go top ten. I should know I won a bet with him over it.

      8. To be fair I should note that Hill struggled a lot with catching the ball in minicamps but has been better in TC. The point was while athletically gifted he was raw as a route runner and it’s taking him time to develop. It’s hard to predict what these guys will do in the pros because there really is no way to tell if the light will come on or if they have a passion for the game.

      9. Jack

        I imagine Hill wouldn’t have done much with Smith. With Kaepernick, he probably would have flourished, but everybody knows Smith doesn’t throw to WRs.

      1. No I told you so for Grant he said Jenkins would be a bust he was. He [and I] said they should draft Fleener. The juries still out but so far Fleener has been disappointing. Looks like Baalke, Grant and I may all be wrong so there will be no I told you so.

      2. Jack another way to look at it is if we had drafted Fleener we would be stuck with Fleener and would’nt have McDonald

      3. Chewie you are absolutley correct Fleener is now and will always be a better player than Jenkins. My point is i believe if the 9ers had drafted him in the first rd he would be looked at as a bust not as big a bust as Jenkins but not a good pick just the same.

      4. Coach,

        Fleener and McDonald seem to be pretty much the same. Both are still developing as blockers, and have struggled holding onto the ball. Though McDonald had 4 nice catches in that first preseason game he also had 3 drops.

        A CB such as Robert Alford would have been a nice catch at 55.

      5. Jack its purely conjecture on my part but i see McDonald developing into a stud and see Fleener never reaching that level. If the 9ers can coach V.M. up as a blocker as well as they did D. Walker i think with his size and speed he will be off the charts. Lastly I think we could have done far better with last yrs pick than either Jenkins or Fleener.

      6. Jack, Fleener is overated and has not done jacksh!t to be jumping up and down about & his role may get scaled back now in Indy. The Colts have made every effort to heavily involve Fleener in their offense and he’s tanking big time. McDonald will be a better all round player for the 49ers. As far Alford at 55….we could do this all day. I ripped the A.J. Jenkins pick at the time because i wanted Doug Martin or Rueben Randle. So my Doug Martin pick trumps you and Grant’s Fleener pick and would have free’d up the L. James 2nd round pick in 2012 & also probably the Lattimore 4th round pick in 2013 would not be needed. I won’t even bring up Randle, like i said we could do this ALL DAY……Hindsight is 20/20.

    1. Again,
      Fleener 2012 stats 26 rec, 281 yrds, 2 tds
      Jenkins 2012 stats 0 rec, 0 yrds, 0 tds

      Thus, Fleener>Jenkins. Facts are facts.

      1. Think of it this way, had the 49ers taken Fleener last year there would have been no need for McDonald this year freeing up the 55th pick.

    1. yes!!!! please!!!! we know AJ would have cost us almost $4.5Mill if we cut him this year. Im very interested in what cutting Baldwin NOW would cost us.
      A thought that entered my head the other day….trading of AJ and saving the cash….same for colt Mccoy, especially if Daniels is gonna be the back-up. Using the money saved on a singing bonus to extend Iupati and get that out of the way now!

      1. Im very interested in what cutting Baldwin NOW would cost us.

        Nothing, unless his 2013 salary is guaranteed. In that case, the guaranteed amount of his salary would count against the 49ers’ 2013 cap whether he is on the team or not.

        The 49ers are not responsible for the unallocated portion of Baldwin’s rookie signing bonus. That cap hit is KC’s to bear, just as the cap hit from Jenkins’ signing bonus is the 49ers’.

      2. What both teams gain is the ability to get rid of a bad pick without accelerating the cap hit. It appears the signing bonus remains prorated after a trade.

        News to me – I had believed that the acceleration happened as soon as a player left the team for any reason.

  4. At least we don’t have to worry about Balke keeping Jenkins on the roster because to dump him would reflect badly on his drafting prowess. According to George’s link above, Baldwin is a big guy with talent but a knucklehead. Jenkins was looking like a lost cause. So it’s a good trade for the 49ers.

    1. Son, I don’t think Trent has to worry about his “drafting prowess”. Have you seen two of our past three drafts????!!!!! Loaded with potential studs.

  5. 49ers new endzone target, lol. Maybe Patton can teach him how to make one-handed catches since the knock on Baldwin is that he tries to make them too often, but drops them.

      1. Actually, VD would be the perfect mentor for Baldwin, wouldn’t he? But let’s be realistic: He has a very short window to prove himself. I wonder if they’ll try him at special teams too. Anyone know if he’s PS-eligible??

  6. This trade was two GMs, who have a good relationship, taking out each others trash. Andy Reid couldn’t stand Baldwin and the 49er FO wanted to end the aj debacle

  7. Baaaaalllllllkkkkkkkeeeee! Fist bump baby!!
    Atleast Baldwin has the size, strength, and toughness that Jenkins could never have. Didn’t Baldwin punch out one of his teammates? Baldwin vs Brooks pay per view?
    K.C. Chiefs are the gift that keeps on giving!

  8. Baalke , “I have a problem…and I want to find out if it is my problem or your problem”. Dorsey, “Your business is your business. I have no interests or percentages from it”. Baalke, “Good. How about we exchange our problems and make the peace”. Dorsey, “My interests don’t conflict with your organization, it’s a deal”.

    1. The first time I’ve ever heard someone make a Godfather III reference! Yeah pt I or II…but III. That’s hardcore! I love it!

      1. Love the Godfather movies, the first two anyway, but they are so cut up on AMC and full of commercials they are pretty much unwatchable for me.

  9. This is they type of WR that the Niners have needed for a while. He’s a big body that if he can increase his catch ratio by even 20%, could be a game changer. He comes from a football family. His father played at Pitt and his uncle had a cup of coffee with the Bengals. He won’t fail for lack of effort or heart.

    1. so if we cut him now, it will cost us the same as if we cut A.J. but if we cut him after this season, it will only cost a mill. Maybe we can trade Baldwin for draft picks to another team, save ALL THAT MONEY and give it to Iupati as a bonus in the form of an extension!

  10. Wow. I didnt think the 49ers would move in from Jenkins until after this season. Baalke and Harbaugh don’t screw around.

  11. I’m really curious as to WHY or HOW the 49ers “fell in love” with AJ Jenkins. Didn’t Harbaugh say that Baalke already had Jenkin’s name in a sealed envelope the night before the draft?

    I remember thinking that was absurd, but giving Harbaalke the benefit of the doubt based on their 2011 draft class.

    1. Dan they fell in love with Jenkins for the same reason KC fell in love with Baldwin. Drafting WR’s is a crap shoot. Why did every team in the league pass over T.O. 3 times before the 9ers pulled the trigger? Why did every team in the league by pass Dwight Clark 10 times before the 9ers drafted him?

    2. Baalke relied on his Mid-West Region scout for this pick. And Baalke was not pleased with this guys recommendation shortly after draft.. The scout was promptly “given an opportunity to further his career elsewhere” at the very first opportunity after the draft. He was then replaced. Sorry can’t remember the details but this was in the media during the off season. Grant might know the details…

  12. Well I guess we all saw this coming! I’m glad Baalke can admit something went wrong and make a quick decision about it. The best thing is that this decision just put the EVERYBODY on notice! “Perform or you’re gone!”

    The next questions are: can Baldwin make the team? Which other receivers is on the bubble now ahead or behind him? My thought is yes Baldwin can make the team, but he has to beat out Lockette and/or Chuck Jacobs (PS eligible). There’s a small (and I mean small) chance that we hold 8 WRs on the 53, because Osgood will make the team and JH doesn’t want to lose Lockette. We’ll find the flexibility in the roster with Adam Snyder who can play OG & OT so we only carry 7, plus there’s a chance we only keep 1 backup QB (B.J. Daniels on PS and Tolzien gone). Lockette & Osgood have ST value in addition to receiving potential so they have a lot to offer.

    All I know is the preseason just got a little less complicated and A LOT more interesting.

    1. Maybe a downside to Baldwin – I’m pretty sure AJ was PS eligible.
      Lockette is eligible for the PS, too. Both of those guys might even have been safe on the PS.

      1. Clem – I heard there were 2 people. They have not come forward yet.

        BTW, how’s your wife doing Clem? Hope all is well.

  13. This trade clears the way for carrying no dead AJ money next season. I don’t see how Baldwin will learn the offense in 2 weeks. Baldwin’s salary of $1.061 million for this season is fully guaranteed. But Niners have $7M below cap currently, I believe, and will probably be willing to take the $1M hit and release Baldwin unless the latter makes spectacular progress.

    1. This is exactly what my first hit was on this deal. Baldwin WILL NOT make the team.

      The only option besides cutting him that may happen is that they try to salvage a pick out of it with some ridiculously desperate team who will give a conditional 7th round draft pick for him. Otherwise, this was strictly a cut bait in the least expensive way possible type of move.

    2. Not quite. The salary cap hit is already locked in. The 49ers will have dead money cap charges of $873,187 in 2013 and $1,746,374 in 2014 attributed to Jenkins. Even if the team elected to take the entire $2,619,561 charge against this year’s cap, it would have the same effect on the 2014 cap because the 49ers would have $1,746,374 less in cap space to roll over into 2014.

      The one advantage of getting rid of Jenkins this year, however, is that the team avoids having any Jenkins-related dead money on the books in 2015.

      1. I just read the article about all the cap numbers and it’s a bit too complicated for me to fully grasp, but the bottom line is they take a hit no matter what on a bad pick, but this move helps to lessen the hit.

        I still doubt Baldwin makes the team. How could he if he basically can’t catch! The big body is nice, but we have Marquies Gray (sp?) for that along with the other TEs and Boldin.

      2. EB:

        If the 49ers share your doubts regarding Baldwin making the team, then they should have just cut Jenkins. The additional $1 million in cap space could have been rolled over into next year and used for the Kaepernick/Smith extensions.

      3. Claude:

        I don’t think so. Balwin hits the cap harder this year, but next year his contract is not guaranteed, so it seems it’s best for them to cut him by next year if he’s not working out and then they don’t have to pay him next year.

        That’s largely why they made this deal. The Cheifs get more cap space this year and the Niners get more next year even if both the guys don’t work out.

      1. Yes, but only Baldwin’s guaranteed 2013 $1,061,510 base salary will count against the 49ers’ 2013 cap. His 2014 salary is not guaranteed, so the 49ers could cut him next year without any salary cap hit. I would be surprised if the 49ers cut Baldwin in 2013. From a salary cap perspective, the team would be in a worse position than if it had simply cut Jenkins.

      2. Thanks to both of you for the clarifications. I didn’t realize that the Niners take a cap hit for 2014 for Baldwin if they cut him this year.

      3. Mood_Indigo:

        I don’t think the 49ers would take a cap hit in 2014 if they cut Baldwin this year. It’s just that by taking on his guaranteed 2013 salary, they lose $1 million in 2013 cap space that could have been rolled over into 2014 if it had gone unused this year. But that has nothing to do with cutting Baldwin. As soon as they acquired him, they lost the ability to roll that $1 million into next year’s cap.

    1. When aj executes a friend for having knowledge of several other murders that aj committed. Then you might get that refund. Lol

  14. Good move,my only problem is that if Baldwin couldn’t catch Alex’s lame floating ducks. What’s to believe he can catch Kaps laser rockets?

      1. Are we starting a reader’s poll as to who is Most Likely Niner to Raise Grant’s Ire? I, too, vote for poor Carlos!

    1. In the spirit of “I hope both players succeed”, I would have to think the ire would fall upon the WR coach for not getting the most out of AJJ. I do think though, AJJ has most of the accountability – after all, he had Randy “the best WR ever (in his own mind)” Moss as his guru last year.

  15. If you have followed the Cheifs lately (because of Alex Smith) on their fan sites & forums there was always a “Cut Baldwin now” thread getting posted. So this is no surprise on the Cheifs part. Baldwin fits the physical prototype the 49ers want in a WR & Any Reid wants a Jeremy Maclin clone (A.J. ain’t Maclin though).

  16. Well I was wrong about Jenkins as I was cool on the pick when it was made. Happy to see that Baalke recognized his mistake and moved on fast enough to avoid further damage by letting Jenkins keep a roster spot just because of his draft status. Baldwin’s got great physical tools, lets hope the coaching staff can get those tools to coalesce into something more in a way they couldn’t with Jenkins.

    1. Thanks for that. This trade was a bit of a puzzle until now. This was a business decision especially for the 49ers. This was less about the players and more about shuffling costs around. Both teams partially solve their biggest cap concerns.
      KC met there short term cap needs and SF their long term cap needs in the switch of two flawed players. KC took on the long term costs because they maybe see more potential opportunity for success with Jenkins. SF is looking too trim that long term hit and with very small hopes for Baldwin sticking.

  17. I was never a fan of AJ Jenkins, but wished him well and still do. I hope that Andy Reid can get production out of him, KC goes 8-8, and we get a 2nd round pick.

    1. Yep. One guys has great hands but can’t get separation (or keep off the ground). The other drops way too many passes. I wonder if they’ll even make their respective rosters. Short windows for them both.

  18. If there is one team in the NFL where Jenkins can succeed its KC. Jenkins likes to run the underneath patterns. Smith like to throw the underneath patterns and Reid likes to call the underneath patterns.

  19. Baldwin has been the more productive of the two, can get off the line, and is a bigger target, so why did Reid make the trade? It looks like Baldwin’s cap hit is bigger than Jenkins’ for this year. If so, do you think that’s the reason KC did it? Taking this a little further, what does this mean for TB’s plans for Baldwin? Anyone venture to guess?

    1. There’s always the chance that a change of scenery will help one or both of the young receivers. Neither guy wi be feeling secure on complacent now (if that was an issue).

  20. Have no idea how Baldwin might do. Might not even make the team. But I like the trade because I was concerned that TB wouldn’t see his mistake soon enough. Mistakes happen. The sooner realized, the better. AJ spent the lion’s share of his time on the field on his backside.

    Still the 49er parade of WR mediocrity shows no sign of letting up any time soon. Stay healthy Anquan.

  21. Interesting to see how Harbaugh discusses this with the media after stating, “Those so-called writers and pundits will see, Jenkins will be a good football player in this league.” Guess he failed to say it will be on another team.

    1. If it isn’t obvious by now, it certainly should be. What JH says publically is essentially meaningless. Blah blah blah. Grain of salt, please.

    1. He won’t talk about it is my guess.

      “AJ is with another team now and I won’t discuss players not on our team. We welcome a new player in who has an opportunity to get better as a football player and help our club.”

      Sound about right?

  22. I think this is the best we could do given the situation. Jenkins would be taking up quality practice time from the other WRs, and which team, in its right mind, would trade a draft pick for AJ? We get another first rounder, but at least one who has caught a pass.

    More importantly, Baldwin will have Boldin as a mentor, which is needed. This may mean keeping 7 receivers.

  23. I expect both Baldwin and A.J. are somewhat less than 50-50 to make their new teams this September – and even less likely to still be around by January.

    1. There is always the possibility of a “mystery injury” if the staff thinks he has potential once he learns the system.

      1. Baldwin has big time talent but inconsistent hands, he’ll make an amazing play and then follow it up with 3 bad ones. He’s sort of a headcase too, i remember he got in a fist fight in the lockerroom with Thomas Jones his rookie year and was injured in the fight. Baldwin didn’t start right away his rookie year because of the fight (got his jaw broken i believe).

    1. Thanks for the link. No big deal though.

      So what he caught a long ball. Jumped up, big deal. High school kids do that every day.

      Can he play special teams? If not he better have a turn around or he is gone come end of camp

  24. “For those – the scribes, pundits, so-called experts – who have gone so far as to say that AJ’s going to be a bust, should just stop,” Harbaugh said. “I recommend that because they’re making themselves look more clueless than they already did.”

    The Harbaugh Game strikes again. Raise your glass and take a shot.

    1. Jack, and didn’t Baldwin injure his wrist his rookie year when he got in a locker room fight with a fellow player?

      Have another, lol.

    2. Hammer – Good one, I remember Harbs saying that.
      He said he was gonna keep a list too. I wonder if he still has that list.

    1. Baldwin will be less of a long term cap hit than Jenkins would have been, cut or kept. KC needed immediate savings, Baldwin was costly this year and that dropped pass, I would guess, sealed the deal. KC took on the greater down the road cost because they were desperate this year and (I am guessing) liked what they saw in Jenkins (he caught a pass). For both, this was a business decision first and foremost.

  25. Baldwin for Jenkins is a GREAT trade, in that we do not have to deal any longer with the psychic scarring of choosing Jenkins as a first rounder. It only gets better after letting Jenkins go. Even with Baldwin getting off the line, and downfield he is a target that must draw safety or cornerback attention, which makes other things possible. This IS an improvement because Jenkins cannot even get off of the line.

  26. You have to give credit to the team for cutting its losses, many won’t do it out of pride. They realized their mistake and moved on, although I don’t think Baldwin is going to do anything here. Back to the WR chalkboard.

  27. I find the trade quite fascinating actually. Both teams see the respective players falling deeper into a funk and throw the hail mary to see if they can fix what ails the other. I don’t think the Niners are viewing Baldwin as a cut to save money on next year’s cap. This guy is a physical specimen at 6″4 230 LB’s and fits the mold of what they like their WR’s to be. He’s had problems dropping the ball but he’s also got a lot to work with so hopefully he gets a real shot to stick.

    As for Jenkins, the writing was on the wall I guess. He was becoming a lightening rod for media and fans to focus on and the pressure was mounting. I think he’s going to fit Reids system pretty well but we’ll see. Hopefully the fresh start does both players good.

  28. It’s reminiscent of an old classic. The Wizard Of Oz. The Tin Man, played by A. J. Jenkins. The Scarecrow, played by Jon Baldwin…

    1. You have that reversed Razor. Jenkins is clearly the Scarecrow because he keeps falling down and gets picked apart easily while Baldwin is the Tin Man because you can’t have a heart if you are willing to punch a fellow teammate.

  29. Speed is over rated, look at the best receivers, most were not very fast, they ran good routes, had a good hands, had a big heart. Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Chris Carter to name a few.

  30. It would be a surprise for me that we would cut him immediately and like to know which team contacted the other one.
    With his strength and blocking ability this looks like a win deal for us.

  31. scouts said he has trouble getting off the line also but runs good routes and can catch in the middle of the field he doesn’t make defenses miss though.

  32. I think this was a cap flexibility trade. It is doubtful that Baldwin will be here next year. Changing scenery usually doesn’t change bad hands. He is here to give Baalke more cap flexibility next year, unless Baldwin has an epiphany and starts playing like his talent suggests. In that case he would be a steal.

  33. As long as balke is picking talent the miners will never have a good wide receiver.

    Will this be the year of hate for harbough? Will map be booed as the wide receivers on this team allow pick after pick.

    1. Most of the bloggers here seem to agree with Kawakami. Looks like the Org is working on the “two wrongs don’t make a right” system.

    2. I am actually disappointed in Kawakami’s article. He missed the point.
      This was a financial decision. In the age of high salaries vs caps the business strategy is all too important.
      There was nothing in Baldwin’s play the other night for the 49ers to have gotten excited about. Most likely he will be cut. But so would have Jenkins. Baldwin is the one with no guarantee on the second year. That will be important for the Niner’s future renegotiation on contracts for some real players.

    3. I think Kawakami is on to something when he says: “And maybe Kaepernick and the other QBs were sort of forcing his hand, by not feeling comfortable enough to throw Jenkins the ball very often in practice or games (or nearly getting INTs in the times they did throw to him).” That became clear against the Chiefs when the Niners designed the game around AJ, and the QB’s stunk out the place. I do think Colt and Tolzien are better than they showed on that game, it was just a function of the game plan: throw to AJ.

  34. Somewhat surprised by the move. But AJ was spiraling downward on the depth chart. Perhaps a change of scenery will be good for him.
    I like Baldwin’ measurables, maybe this change will work for him as well.

    Hopefully the trade works for us. If not, the 49ers receiving issue will continue with a new face attached to it.

  35. In the midst of our wide receiver woes, a glimmering light of hope is Chad Hall. I know it’s still early, but I really like his speed, his courage and his decisiveness in going up for the ball. He shows a lot of heart, and I think he will be a big surprise this season, especially if he and Kaepernick can get some timing and chemistry going. My two cents.

    1. I really think this will be the best receiving year this team has had in awhile. I think ck will get the best out of these receivers. Until Crabtree returns. My worries are with the secondary.

  36. IMO it’s a cheaper way to get out of aj’s contract. I’m not 100 percent sure but if they cut this new kid it saves money on the books. And that’s exactly what I think they’ll do. They’ll give him a look, but if he doesn’t outshine anyone else and really impress, he’s getting cut. Don’t see him wearing an SF jersey

    1. Maybe Patton gets a shot early in the game. I would really like to see how he handles not being in a non-contact jersey and hopefully seeing some press coverage as split-end. Time to start finding out what he has.

  37. This was out of no where! I certainly didn’t see this coming.

    Initially I was shcoked and excited, but after reading all the comments here I’m a little skeptical, but still hopeful.

    Grant – What are your thoughts? Do you know much about him?

  38. This is what a KC fan posted below an ESPN article. Think it’s interesting.
    “Baldwin can block downfield..and its best that he does not have to run routes before trying to catch..He will only catch in goaline stances.”

  39. After last season I thought that the coaching staff had vetoed AJ. Tim Kawakami seems to think the same thing today.

    “At least Baalke cut his losses relatively quickly. Again, I think the coaching staff was sort of forcing his hand here, because they were going to play Marlon Moore and Chad Hall ahead of Jenkins, no matter what.”

    Then he includes the quarterbacks in the veto.

    As for the better choice, he thinks Harbaugh would have had a big say where Fleener is concerned. His prediction is that Stepnen Hill will be the “why didn’t they pick him” as time goes on.

    Both teams now have a long shot that will be easier to cut, and AJ has a coach that likes little receivers.

  40. So this is a credibility move for the team. They talk about meritocracy, today they backed it up. It looks from the outside like a healthy system that values winning over “cya”.

  41. Just been spending some time checking out different blogs with the KC fans and 49er fans comments on this trade. Fans of both teams seem to be happy with the trade for the most part.

    KC fans are happy because they got rid of a guy they called a “bust” that couldn’t catch . . . and the 49er fans are happy they got rid of a player they called a “bust” that couldn’t get open. The KC fans think they got the better end of the deal, while 49er fans feel the same way. Guess it’s a wash so far.

    1. This may be a wash as far as the players go; both players could likely be a bust for there new respective teams.
      But this is mostly about the financial baggage that these two players carried. And that will be were you find a check in the win column for both teams. It appears that the 49ers have the slightly bigger “check” there because the Chiefs were more desperate this year. On the other hand Jenkins might work out for the chiefs.
      This was a money first deal with a little bit of saving face peppered in and a, oh – by the way, long shot in the dark gamble on the players.

      1. I think AJ has a decent shot at becoming the Chiefs 5th or 6th WR if they keep that many.

        If we agree that the 49ers are pretty set with Boldin, Monroe, Patton and Williams, that leaves two spots if the 49ers keep six WR’s. I think you have to seriously consider Collie in the mix for one of those spots, so that leaves one left for Baldwin. I’ve seen a few mentions on blogs about the 49ers keeping more than six, but I can’t see that happening because of how it could affect other positions.

      1. I don’t recall Grant reporting a lot of drops during camp, just that he was getting a lot of reps but not getting targeted often by the 49er QB’s because he wasn’t getting open. It seemed he was catching the balls well-enough on the few times he was getting targeted.

        Or are you talking about last season’s one target, one drop?

        If you have any links to articles that I may have missed stating that he can’t catch, please feel free to provide them. Thanks for the response.

      2. Yeah, I think most people will tell you that he has the tools to be good, including his hands. Desire and heart, are a different question…we will see in the coming years whether GC is correct. For now, GC has the upper hand, but things can change in a blink of an eye.

  42. I’m starting to think this has a decent chance of working out. Baldwin got off to a bad start in the locker room (a fight and wrist injury), but that was more than two years ago. His team’s QB was erratic. Plus the people who drafted and trained him are gone. He’s coming to an upbeat, motivated locker room, a great QB, and a player’s coach. Not saying I know what’s going to happen, just that I’m optimistic.

  43. 2012 wr’s…Hill, struggling. Quick, sucks. Floyd, decent. Fleener. I would take McDonald over him. Blackmon. In trouble all the time.

    The best wr’s from that class are Kendall Wright, Alshon Jeffrey, Ruben Randall, and Mohammed Sanu and none were great last year by any stretch. Morever, Jeffrey and Sanu were terrible at the combine, out of shape, slow and disappointing. Out 33 receivers drafted, maybe 5 have been even remotely productive.

    In fact, after the first 15 picks, not sure I see a ton of dominate players across the board.


    1. My point, if you were looking for a #1 wr in the 2012 draft, good luck. I see one #1, a couple of #2′s and a bunch of 3′s, 4′s and 5′s.

  44. Agent Smith: “You hear that Mr. Jenkins?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Jenkins…”

  45. Hey Grant: Maybe since KC is taking our garbage these days they would also consider taking Fleener off the hands of the Colts ? He dropped another easy catch yesterday. ;)

  46. This is a great move because Jenkins would have otherwise been cut. It doesn’t matter if Baldwin helps the team or not – if he does it is just a bonus. 49ers have now traded $1 million in 2014 guaranteed salary that would have accelerated to this year if they’d kept Jenkins.

    As for Baldwin, he’s got all the physical tools you could ask for, but suspect hands and attitude. Hopefully being around Boldin will help the attitude, and if a guy wants it enough he can improve his hands. He’s certainly no sure thing, but it this point is a better option than Jenkins.

    As for those that believe they don’t need to “eat crow” for dishing on Grant and Jack ever since AJ was drafted, honestly, man up. I for one defended the pick when it was made, and said he wasn’t a bust right up until the past few weeks. Grant and Jack – you were right, I was wrong. Mia culpa.

    1. Yes. I just don’t see how the Harbaugh/Baalke would have justified to the team keeping Jenkins around, at the expense of better players such as Moore or Hall.

    2. Scooter, did I miss the “eating crow” thread? LOL Though I don’t recall dishing anything out to Grant or Jack concerning their opinion on Jenkins, I think I did state a few months ago that he should get an opportunity this season to prove himself and if that didn’t happen, the 49ers would have move on next season. Does that count for crow-eating because I am getting a little hungry! ;)

    3. Those that should “eat crow” should have to when Fleener becomes a stud. That hasn’t happened so it really hasn’t been a bad decision by Baalke according to Grant. He wanted Fleener and he wanted him bad! :-)

      1. I’ve seen a few threads now saying Fleener is tanking it and is a bust. It’s funny, because as far as I can tell it is only the few 49ers fans on this blog that believe this… pretty much every other media outlet I read seems to think he’s a legit shot as one of the breakout players this year.

      2. From the way his career has started it appears Fleener’s biggest issue is going to be staying healthy. If he can do that, I think he’ll be fine. He’s had a ton of success in the same offense he’ll be playing in this season.

    4. Scooter,

      The problem with this line of thinking is it is based on a need to be right rather than letting things play out and forming a conclusion based on factual information. I’m not trying to bag on Grant, but it seems so easy for people to forget the context of things that are said. Grant did not pan the Jenkins pick because he thought Jenkins would be a bust. He panned it because he thought Fleener was the pick they should have made and that Jenkins would be a slot guy who wouldn’t help in the Redzone. Now as it turns out, Jenkins didn’t fit what this team needed or wanted and he’s been traded, but I find it petty when people want a pat on the back or credit for being right about something when they really didn’t take that tact originally. Grant isn’t doing that here, but some are acting as if he were persecuted and has been acquitted, when that is not the case.

      I often take a Devils advocate position here because there tends to be a group pile on mentality that takes over the board on many issues such as Jenkins and Alex Smith before him. I can’t speak for anyone else, but pretty much everyone that I read in support of Jenkins didn’t say he was a great pick or player. They simply said don’t rush to judgment without waiting for the story to play out. Saying a player is a bust after one year is overreaction and a position that is not thoroughly researched or thought out. The player may well be a bust, but he could also be a slow learner who needs more time. The Niners obviously have seen enough to realize he doesn’t fit with them, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fit anywhere. Again, give it time and if the day comes that he no longer has a job, then all those who jumped on the Jenkins is a bust train can celebrate their clairvoyance and crow to their hearts content.

      I personally wasn’t thrilled with the pick at the time and wanted Fleener, but as a fan who doesn’t have access to a tenth of the info the pros do, I give the benefit of the doubt to the team until it is proved to be right or wrong. I see way too many instances of blog entries that believe they somehow know more than the pros or that the youtube videos they watched give them real insight into a player. That is why I form counter arguments to claims of a player being a bust after one season and why I will not give credit to somebody who does so.

      1. Grant hasn’t asked for a pat on the back. He hasn’t even voiced his opinion on this move, though I’m sure we all know what it is.

        The fact is Grant was persecuted by many for his opinion of the Jenkins pick. Yes, he wanted Fleener – he was also Matt Barrows’ draft crush, as well as many others on this blog (myself included). But don’t take away the fact that Grant also outlined why he thought Jenkins was a bad fit for the 49ers, not just why he thought Fleener was the right pick.

        Grant made strong arguments why Jenkins was a bad pick, and it has now played out that he was right. Yet he has copped a lot of flak since the pick, with many saying he doesn’t have a clue.

      2. “Saying a player is a bust after one year is overreaction and a position that is not thoroughly researched or thought out.”

        Unfortunately Rocket it is actually true that Jenkins was a bust for the 49ers. Whether he becomes anything anywhere else he provided absolutely nothing for the 49ers organization.

        The 49ers front office has done a fantastic job of building a championship contender, but that doesn’t put them in a position where there decisions cannot be second guessed.

        I agree that there are far too many people who look at highlight clips on YouTube and then say how great or poor a player is, and that is too bad.

        In the case of Jenkins the information was out there to watch every offensive snap for Illinois of multiple games against various levels of competition from his senior season, not just highlights. When you combine this with statistical analysis and reports from various outlets about a player one can form an educated opinion on the player.

        If you take out the fact that Grant had previously stated his desire for Fleener and look solely at his analysis of why he felt Jenkins would not be succesful you will find that it actually played out on the field during his time with the 49ers.

        Scooter, there is no need to say anything. I really wish that I was wrong on Jenkins. With the injuries last year to Williams and Manningham the team really could have used another offensive weapon. The same this year with Crabtree now out and Manningham on the PUP for at least the first 6 games.

        As BigP said earlier, I have to give Baalke, Harbaugh and the organization a big thumbs up for putting the team ahead of their pride.

      3. AJ Jenkins is the only wide receiver taken in first round since the 1970 merger who didn’t catch a single pass for team that drafted him.

        That my friends is the definition of bust.

      4. Grant hasn’t asked for a pat on the back. He hasn’t even voiced his opinion on this move, though I’m sure we all know what it is

        I clearly said that is not what Grant is doing here Scooter. Others are doing it for him, but Grant himself has not done so.

        As I said, I’m not trying to bag on Grant; I’m talking about this need people have to be right to the point they make conclusions based on little on field evidence. Grant’s first reaction to the pick was based on the fact he thought Fleener should be the pick. Later on when he watched practices and the whole showing up out of shape thing came up, that is when the critique of Jenkins the player started to become the issue. Grant’s argument against Jenkins was that he would be a slot receiver – which he was never tried as – and that he wouldn’t help in the Redzone. That part is true he didn’t help in the Redzone or anywhere else. Turns out Jenkins wasn’t a fit for the Niners so Grant and Jack can be safe in the knowledge that a guy they didn’t feel was any good didn’t pan out for the team. Doesn’t mean somebody who thinks more time should be taken to analyze a player should be eating crow. We’ll see how he fares in KC.

      5. AJ Jenkins is the only wide receiver taken in first round since the 1970 merger who didn’t catch a single pass for team that drafted him.

        That my friends is the definition of bust.

        It’s actually more the definition of somebody who couldn’t get on the field. I view the word bust as being the final acknowledgement that a player couldn’t play in this league/never fulfilled the potential that was forecast for them. One year does not fit that definition. Bad fit? As it turns out yes, but bust is too strong a term to use on a second year player who has barely gotten on the field imo.

      6. Unfortunately Rocket it is actually true that Jenkins was a bust for the 49ers. Whether he becomes anything anywhere else he provided absolutely nothing for the 49ers organization.

        It’s semantics Jack. As I said above this doesn’t fit my definition of a bust. He provided nothing for the Niners but wasn’t given much of an opportunity to either. I understand they won’t give many game opportunities to somebody they don’t think deserves it, but the bottom line is AJ Jenkins didn’t get on the field much at all last year and this decision is being based on what the team sees as a fit for their offense or type of player; not game performance.

        The 49ers front office has done a fantastic job of building a championship contender, but that doesn’t put them in a position where there decisions cannot be second guessed.

        I agree and have never said they are above being questioned. What I’m saying is, these declarations we read on this and other message boards that state absolutes on what a player is capable of, or that the team screwed up based on that person’s own research of youtube videos and draftnick reports, is nonsensical. There is a cottage industry based on fan second guessing of their favorite Sports teams; some take themselves way too seriously.

        I agree that there are far too many people who look at highlight clips on YouTube and then say how great or poor a player is, and that is too bad.

        That’s all I’m saying in support of the Niner FO in this case. Everyone has the right to be upset because a player they liked wasn’t taken or you don’t like a player the team did select, but pretending any of us know as much or more than the teams who put countless hours into this is a fallacy. Picks don’t work out because they are human beings that can’t be measured on love of the game and desire to be great; not because the team didn’t see enough on film.

        In the case of Jenkins the information was out there to watch every offensive snap for Illinois of multiple games against various levels of competition from his senior season, not just highlights. When you combine this with statistical analysis and reports from various outlets about a player one can form an educated opinion on the player.

        Yes but what you also need to take into account when assessing those highlights is who else is a threat on that team? How good is the QB and Oline when facing the better teams? When he got the ball Jenkins made things happen; that we saw on film. What you don’t see is against better teams, Jenkins was easily nullified both because of the competition he faced, but also because there were no other threats on that team. Jenkins was really the only weapon Illinois had, and I’m guessing that is part of what attracted Baalke to him.

        If you take out the fact that Grant had previously stated his desire for Fleener and look solely at his analysis of why he felt Jenkins would not be succesful you will find that it actually played out on the field during his time with the 49ers.

        It wasn’t though. I stated above what Grant said and it wasn’t that Jenkins was too small or didn’t have enough strength and desire to play on this team. He didn’t like the pick because he didn’t think they addressed the Redzone problems and to his credit he was right about that.

        We live in a society of instant analysis and that is not a good thing imo. Football players mature at different speeds and not all come out of the gate playing at an NFL caliber. Doesn’t mean they can’t get there eventually.

  47. Did anyone see the QB play in KC the last 2 years? Dreadful, yet this guy put up numbers last year almost identical to Delanie Walker.

    He’s a big guy who according to the KC beat writers is best when going vertical. If the 49ers really want to see what he can do I could easily see Baldwin becoming their version of Torrey Smith.

    1. Has he had success as a deep threat? If so then there is a pretty good option to have opposite Boldin…if the guy can catch the ball consistently.

    2. Not hardly. He’s slow. Of his 45 or so catches, I saw a stat that not more than 4 of them were for more than 20 yards. So Deep threat? I think not.

  48. bust from day 1. gone. good. lets get 53 guys who can contribute and have fire in the belly

    not so bold prediction: neither guy makes their team’s respective roster. which is fine. a bad call goes on the ash heap of history, along with rashaun woods, kwame harris, todd shell, steve spurrier, et al. It aint easy being a world class athlete.

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