Getting Baldwin in a trade for Jenkins is a real win for Baalke

Here is my Monday column on the A.J. Jenkins-Jonathan Baldwin trade.

The 49ers traded A.J. Jenkins to the Chiefs for Jonathan Baldwin Monday morning.

Hallelujah for the 49ers. Heaven help the Chiefs.

Why on earth would Kansas City trade anything for Jenkins? Why would they want him in the first place? Just this past Friday, they saw firsthand how bad he really is. Jenkins played 38 snaps and caught no passes against the Chiefs.

Jenkins probably wasn’t going to make the 49ers’ roster. Jim Harbaugh stresses that the 49ers are a meritocracy and the best players make the team. Jenkins was not one of the 49ers’ 53-best players. Of the 90 players in training camp, he was one of the worst.

But enough about Jenkins. He’s the Chiefs’ problem, now.

From the 49ers’ perspective, this is a brilliant trade. Give general manager Trent Baalke tremendous credit. This is the best move he’s made in two years.

Baalke was in a slump. Here are some examples:

The Jenkins pick was one of the worst first-round picks in 49ers’ history. Baalke’s entire 2012 draft was bad. His 2013 draft was OK but he didn’t draft a cornerback until the seventh round, forcing him to trade for Eric Wright.

Baalke’s trade for Anquan Boldin was pretty good. The Ravens were virtually giving Boldin away because they couldn’t afford his contract and he turns 33 years old in October. The 49ers gave the Ravens’ a sixth-round pick and agreed to pay Boldin’s entire $6 million salary for this season. We’ll see if he can justify that expensive contract.

Baalke’s trade for Colt McCoy was horrendous. Baalke gave up a draft pick for a backup quarterback with serious arm-strength limitations. McCoy makes Alex Smith look like Ron Jaworski, the Polish Rifle. Scott Tolzien has outperformed McCoy all training camp. McCoy might not make the 49ers’ roster.

But Baalke’s trade for Baldwin was a grand slam, the ultimate Splash Hit.

First of all, Baalke gave up nothing for him, unless you consider Jenkins something.

Second, Baldwin is a good receiver, in spite of what you’ve heard. He didn’t carve out a starting role his two seasons in Kansas City and people were down on him. But that doesn’t mean he won’t become a good player in San Francisco where they may understand his talents better.

He’s young (24), he’s big (6-4, 230), he’s a big-play guy, he makes contested catches and he’s a deep threat. He’s exactly what the 49ers wanted in Jenkins and more.

The 49ers were hoping Jenkins would become a big-play guy and a deep threat even though he was an underneath possession receiver at the University of Illinois, averaging 14.6 yards per catch in his college career. In 49ers’ practices, he was an underneath possession receiver who didn’t like to go over the middle and did not make contested catches downfield and couldn’t beat press coverage, meaning he was not an NFL receiver.

Baldwin averaged 18.3 yards per catch at the University of Pittsburgh, and he entered the draft after his junior season. The Chiefs drafted him with the 26th pick in 2011, and last season Baldwin averaged 16.3 yards per catch on 20 catches for one of the worst offenses in the NFL. That’s impressive. Compare that to Jenkins, who caught zero passes on one of the best offenses last season. (Again, the mind reels when trying to figure out why the Chiefs made this trade, but let’s keep our focus on Baldwin and the Niners).

Baldwin’s main flaw is he drops too many passes, and he did drop one Friday night against the 49ers. But last season, he dropped only one and he was targeted 40 times according to Pro Football Focus. So, maybe his hands aren’t a major issue.

Baldwin’s contract expires after the 2014 season season – that’s a major issue. He’ll have to work his tail off to get a second NFL contract, which works in the 49ers’ favor.

It took guts for Baalke to admit to himself and the world Jenkins wasn’t going to work out for the 49ers. Most general managers do not publicly indict themselves and get rid of their first-round pick after just one season. Doing so makes the general manager look bad. No general manager wants to make himself look bad.

Give Baalke credit. He made himself look good by taking the risk of looking bad.

It took brains to identify Baldwin as a diamond in the rough. He’s the most talented receiver the 49ers have acquired since they drafted Michael Crabtree in 2009.

Just a brilliant trade on so many levels, infinitely better than cutting Jenkins and getting nothing for him. Give Baalke credit.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

, , , , , , , ,
  1. Grant,

    Real nice work. I watched a video of Baldwin at the combine, the sound wasn’t good, but it sounded like he measured out at 6-4, 3/4. With Vance out there … and Moore … some big targets for Kaep to play with.

    1. WHAT?

      “Nice Work”?

      Where did you see that?

      After reading this GARBAGE by Jr. you would have thought he had several Expresso’, as if he was on Speed writing this article. Where do I begin?

      Okay let’s start with “The best move in 2 years” or how about “Baalke was in a slump” Really? I can’t even dignify a response to his Idiotic Comments because they’re so Absurd!

      But here’s the Kicker “his 2013 Draft was OK”

      Right!……. Because everybody can evaluate this Draft Instantly before this Class can hit the field!

      Seriously you have to wonder if Jr. is pulling this out of his Corn Hole just to get the most people to respond to his Blog to make himself look better.

      Jr. has posted some really stupid stuff but this one reflects who he really is…..

      L O S E R

      1. @Matt

        Either you’ve been under a rock for the last 10 years or so or you haven’t notice there’s much better reporting from the Matt’s.

      2. Grant’s style is a combination of reporting stuff and being highly opinionated about it, which generates interest. That’s okay.

        However, he does skew some facts to bolster his opinion. The 49ers negated the trade for Eric Wright and got him in FA. For McCoy, we traded back a few spots from the bottom of the 5th to the top of the 6th and gave up a 7th round pick. Doesn’t come close to horrendous in my book. Trading a 6th round pick for Boldin was brilliant, especially in hindsight of Crab’s injury. As for the Baldwin trade? Eh. The 49ers needed cap space in 2014 and 2015. The Chiefs needed cap space this year. It worked for both teams. I doubt Baldwin will see the field much this year since he’ll be at the bottom of the depth chart, but hope he proves me wrong.

      3. Folsom bro, the Matt’s separately are >>>>>>> than Grant. No offense to Grant meant here, but c’mon. Maiocco kept the PD relevant during Football season. ;)

      4. I agree with the primary premise that the trade was a way to make the best of a poor situation, probably for both teams. I agree with your point that Grant’s comment on the 2013 draft class is absurd.

      5. @Brian in Oakland,

        I’m a Troll?

        Really? Funny….I’ve never heard of you before & you’ve never replied to any of my Posts?

        But I’ll take your argument of “concrete” to task right now.

        So let me ask you a couple of questions….

        Do you believe the 49ers are 1 of the most talented Teams in the NFL?

        If you answered “Yes” than you’re not as ignorant as I thought.

        My next question would be…..How do you think they got this talented in the last several years?

        That’s my “concrete evidence” & I shouldn’t have to go into detail from there on how Baalke loaded up on this significant talent thru FA & the last 3 Drafts.

        Come back with more of your Stupidity please?

      1. I only worry about what he did to anger Reid. Coach Reid has long been known as a player’s coach. He has always worked well with QBs and receivers. So, what gives? Why did Baldwin stop catching passes? What happened between them?

    1. Not sure if he is really a players coach, he did bench T.O. and DeSean Jackson for various transgressions, but then again, those two were/are headcases. Andy Reid is a Mormon, but its not clear if it had any impact on player relations. It is very well known now that Reid got off to a horrific start with Jackson, telling him on draft day that he did not want to deal with DeSean’s family. I sense that Reid has no patience for prima donnas, and that Baldwin has the makings of being one.

  2. I tend to agree with most of what you say Grant, however this is not Baalke best move ever. Are you being sarcastic? Baalke was the GM of the year two yrs ago, he has made some brilliant picks, kind of insulting that they were play away from winning the Super Bowl and the year before was not anything to be ashamed about.

      1. better than trading a 6th rounder for Anquan Boldin?

        Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but trading for someone who we don’t even know we’ll make the 53 man roster seems like a stretch for “best move in the past 2 years”

        1. Boldin is old and expensive and probably won’t be on the team next season. Baldwin could be the 49ers’ split end of the present and future.

      2. That’s a helluva strong “could,” Grant. Boldin could be the difference between a ring or no ring this year. We know he’ll contribute. We have no clue if Baldwin ever will. Hard to label someone a “best” when you are taking a shot in the dark even thinking he’ll contribute.

        1. 49ers gave up a sixth round pick for an expensive, old Boldin. A sixth is semi-valuable.

          The 49ers gave up nothing for an inexpensive, young Baldwin.

      3. Trading Alex Smith to Kansas City for an early second, and possibly another second (at worst an early third), is a better move than acquiring Jon Baldwin.

      4. Boldin move is the best move, and his skills are not going to disappear in 2 years. He was a man among boys in the Super Bowl. Can you imagine if we didnot have Boldin this year? That would of been a disaster.

      5. Addition by subtraction! But, Grant, I’d hold off on lambasting Baalke for last year’s draft. A.J. was a disaster for g’zillions of reasons, but the 2012 draft was valuable in subtle ways. A good number of picks in 2013 were acquired by Baalke through in the 2012 draft. Plus, the jury is still out on many of the other picks, such as Cam Johnson, Loony, and others. Baalke remains the brilliant architect of the current incredible 49ers roster.

  3. Man I’m glad Baalke and the organization as a whole didn’t let their ego get the better of them. As was said, this is a huge move by Baalke….getting something for an apparent nothing situation. Would like to learn more about Baldwin… well does he fight off press coverage? Gonna need that against the Seahawks.

  4. A strange column. I agree that Baalke’s 2012 draft was awful. Historically bad. But most experts believe that the 2013 draft looks brilliant, and I agree. Would have been nice to get a corner, but unless there was good value at their draft positions, good not to overreach. Regardless, it’s looking like we should have a pretty good defensive backfield this year. The fact that the 49ers are loaded at most positions allowed them to draft several players who were injured but should be able to come back to what they were, at positions much lower than if they were healthy.

    Doesn’t appear at this point that McCoy is going to work out, so that may have been a bad move, but I don’t know that other options were better. McCoy has had some success in the past, so I don’t think we can assume that it was stupid.

    What’s really goofy about what Grant wrote was “Baalke’s trade for Anquan Boldin was pretty good. The Ravens were virtually giving Boldin away because they couldn’t afford his contract and he turns 33 years old in October. The 49ers gave the Ravens’ a sixth-round pick and agreed to pay Boldin’s entire $6 million salary for this season. We’ll see if he can justify that expensive contract.” Considering that Crabtree is out for most or all of the season, without that trade we wouldn’t have a single top rank wide receiver (although I think Williams is close). Now it was probably more a brotherly act than a brilliant move by Baalke when the Ravens couldn’t afford to keep Boldin, but to question whether that acquisition was justified seems really dumb.

  5. Watched Baldwin since college liked him then love him now. He projects as a starter. Big body good speed he has the make up ofa true number 1 receiver cuz no disrrspect to crabs and boldin but there possesion wr. This guy reminds me of a raw T.O and despite his antics at one point he was the most dominant wr. Incredible unbelievable trade. Grade this beyond A like g.p.a.s you as 4.2 this is it .WOW. SHOCKED THIS WAS STRAIGHT UP TRADE.

  6. You left out the Alex Smith trade to the Chiefs which has to be considered a positive for the niners/baalke, but I agree with the rest of the article.

  7. Baldwin has never had an opportunity to play with a badass quarterback…..Boldin, Williams, Moore, Patton, Collie, Baldwin is the way it’s looking now.

    1. +1
      Plus I think we find room on the 53 for Osgood & Lockette (he might be the tough decision to make). As I said last week. I think our WR corps will shake itself out to be pretty decent and built for the long haul!

    2. That’s exactly how I see it playing out razor. Collie is probably the least certain of those players to make the roster – he needs to step it up the next two weeks and make the slot receiver role his.

  8. I played corner in college and I watched aj closely I saw footage from practice and he couldnt get of press couldnt shake off defenders that were undrafted players so seeing him get manhandled by chiefs corners Friday was not even dissapointing it was sad. For the fact aj cant handle any contact at all this is one of balkes best moves ever. Definetly got a potential big time player for someone who might not make a team

  9. You’re a joke Grant. How can you say that the 2013 draft class was just “OKAY”, when no one has even played a snap into the 2013 season yet?

    You also need to let go of your infatuation with the CB position. We had a lot of needs going in to the draft. You can’t possibly address all of them. We had major needs at FS, DL, and TE – which were are first 3 picks. After Vance McDonald, there wasn’t that many good corners left by our 3rd round pick. At least not anyone that is going to seriously challenge Rogers, Brown, Culliver, Nnamdi, etc… for playing time from day 1.

    Yes, they could’ve went corner in the first round, and then went Safety in the 2nd. But THEN, we miss out on Tank – who is arguably a top 10-15 talent. Not to mention the extra draft pick we acquired by trading down. I think 2013 draft class will end up being as good as 2011, if not better. But whether I’m right or wrong, one thing is for sure – we won’t know for at least 2 years.

    1. Finally, someone else that agrees he’s an arrogant a$$. I mean really, in four years Baalke has had one draft less than superb. If you look at the 2012 draft, beyond QB’s it wasn’t great period…wr was way below average. 2013 already looks ridiculously good…Reid looks like a animal, Lemonier looks like a steal and future star, Patton is going to be a contributor for sure, McDonald will be a great TE ( better overall skills than Cohn’s BFF Fleener…that doesn’t even include Carradine who, if healthy is almost guaranteed to be a solid based on his tape, Lattimore, same as Carradine, if healthy guaranteed star…would have been top 5 pick. Nick Moody is looking like a great backup and who knows about Dial…if he is even in rotation at some point, that’s a win. Oh, and I forgot about our backup QB, BJDaniels, who looks like a steal. Again, our boy GC just tosses crap out there to get a reaction…hello Foxnews.

    2. Dan, you made some nice points,but Grant is not a joke, I don’t agree with some of his points,but he does his homework and just has strong opinions.

      1. Agree,
        Got tired of the CB infatuation, exaggerated/premature claims such as “the 2013 draft is just okay”, and the obsessive berating of Baalke and Harbaugh. I think deep down Grant thinks (not wishes) he should be the Coach of the 49ers.

        His youth shows in his writing and thinking. Based on his picture it wouldn’t surprise me if Grant is limited to drinking Kool Aid on Sundays instead of some ice cold Coors (I prefer to head for the Rockies).

        Keep working on your craft Junior, but easy on the gas pedal.

  10. I’m not sure how Baldwin will go with the 49ers – his biggest issue appears to be mental so it I think it will largely come down to whether he can get his head on straight and work hard. If he does that, he’s got all the physical tools to be a dominant receiver.

    Grant, do you think Baldwin will be the starting split end by mid-season?

    1. I agree! This is a great move, with the potential to be a stellar move for the passing game. He’s a different type of receiver than Crabs, Williams & Patton. The fact that he’ll get to learn how to use his body from Anquan Boldin is HUGE! I can’t wait to see how things shake out by the start of the season

        1. I’m thinking Williams will be the No.4 receiver, Boldin’s backup in the slot. I’m thinking Moore gets more snaps outside the numbers than Williams.

      1. My guess is that Baldwin will start out as the 4 or 5 while learning the system. Even the rook knows it better at this point. By week#4 both Patton and Baldwin could be challenging KW for game reps.

      2. Based on this I gather that right now you have them carrying 5 WR’s and 5 CB’s. How do you see the numbers breaking down by position?

      3. I think Skuta might make it since he has value as an outside linebacker, but Ventrone has no position value.

        Thanks Grant.

      4. Baldwin could also be the long term solution for Crabtree. we know crab is gonna demand a huge contract and the 9ers have a lot of ppl to sign. If Baldwin plays well something tells me he will be easier to sign. the future could be Baldwin and Patton.

  11. Grant, all Niner fans hope you’re right about Baldwin. There’s not much time left in preseason, plus he missed training camp. When the trade was announced, I just assumed he’d be cut, but now I think he’s a keeper. As you pointed out, the guy had been productive on a poor passing offense, and his upside is huge. He’s your 6th receiver.

  12. Well, Grant, I hope you are as right about this as you were about AJ Jenkin’s future. That was by far the most glowing report on Baldwin that I have seen so far.
    I am the one who has been beating the ear drums in previous posts that this transaction is far more about the contracts vs salary cap concerns for both teams and far less about these two very questionable players.
    The Chiefs need to save now for this years cap – Jenkins improves on that for them over Baldwin. The Niners need to save in the next two years to afford the up and coming contract renegotiation’s for proven Niner players. Baldwin is the better fit there.

    If you are right about Baldwin then this turns out to be a double whammy stroke of genius for Baalke on par with a Walsh move. If you are right he actually synergistic-ally solves multiple problems with one stroke of the pen:
    1.Some of the money tied up in a first round WR bust is now recovered for important future contracts.
    2.He demonstrated that he has guts and can check his ego at the door for the sake of the team.
    3.He converted a first round draft pick who was not going to make the team into a first round draft pick who just might make the 53.
    4.He may have actually found the slot receiver type they dream of.
    5.They may have found another red zone target and threat.
    6.He removed that small bit of egg from his face.
    7.Probably more in dream land but I will stop there….

    He certainly accomplished 1, 2 and 6 and that is good enough for me. I will wait and see on 3, 4 and 5. But I will drink/smoke whatever it is you are partaking in and dream I will.

  13. Wasn’t it a 7th round pick they gave up for mccoy? oh, and they moved down like 6 spots in the 5th to the 6th round. Simply horrendous to trade that kind of “value” for what could be a backup quarterback with starting experience. Horrendous.

  14. Grant,
    I hope you’re as right about Baldwin as you were about AJ (lol).

    My ideal receiver going into the 2013 draft was for the team to pick a large physical type WR between the 3-5 rd. A physical WR would help counter the C-hawks CB’.
    I felt that a player like Chris Harper (now a C-hawk) would fit that mode.

    Boldin (FA) will help fill that area, but with Crabtree out, we definitely lacked the physical presence on the other side. If Baldwin can become serviceable and make a contribution, we will have the physical presence at the WR position I was hoping to would come through the draft.

    BTW, good call on AJ. You called it from day one.
    Kudos Grant.

    1. “Why on earth would Kansas City trade anything for Jenkins? Why would they want him in the first place? Just this past Friday, they saw firsthand how bad he really is. Jenkins played 38 snaps and caught no passes against the Chiefs.”

      They had reasons and Baalke took advantage of those reasons. The Chiefs needed to get their financial house in order now. The Niners needed to bank for 2014 and beyond. The latter drives the deal for the more desperate prior. I keep saying this trade was mostly about the money.
      To add a minor note to that I would guess over in middle town USA they are out doing Grant and writing glowing reports about AJJ right now. After all he actually caught a pass in the showdown the other night. I would guess Alex might have put in a good word for AJ. Especially after the other guy dropped an easy one from AS.
      I can just see Andy pissed off enough to tip the table.

      How about a need for cash now and just pissed off for the reasons.

    2. They save a bit this year. The cap hit for Baldwin CAN be higher, understandable because he was a higher draft pick. The big thing is the salary for 2014 isn’t guaranteed. They can cut him typified they wish.

  15. “Baalke’s trade for Colt McCoy was horrendous. Baalke gave up a draft pick for a backup quarterback with serious arm-strength limitations.”

    The 49ers gave up for McCoy
    - A pick toward the END of the 7th round, with a high likelihood the player targeted there could still be signed as an UFA.
    - Only 9 draft spots by swapping their low 5th for the Browns high 6th

    That’s draft capital chump change, especially when you realize if they got the same talent via FA it might have cost them more in 2014 compensatory value. Horrendous? Really?

    1. Shhh, don’t harsh Grant’s buzz. He hit on one of his over-the-top extreme pronouncements. He feels emboldened, so he’s throwing them out left and right now.

    2. I am still pulling for Colt. He certainly is a better role model than that other Texan (no not Lance, I mean Johnie Foot Ball).
      I was hoping and still am hoping Harbaugh can help him shatter his glass ceiling he seems to be stuck under.

      Maybe Colt can hold down the 2nd slot just until BJ Daniels gets there. I have watched the last part of the last game three times including the broad cast by the KC crew. Man did he shock them into embarrassment when they thought the game was over.

      Okay so BJ aint tall. That is probably why coaches had him practice at everything else under the sun but QB. But I think he is only one inch shorter than another guy with similar tools, Wilson of the North.
      What I saw was a guy with great fundamentals. Excellent footwork, classic throwing motion, quick release and seems to have a quick read and react.
      Did Baalke find another diamond in the rough?

      1. I disagree Grant. McCoy was worth giving up a 7th round pick for if only to try and solidify the backup QB position. I can’t see any team in the Niners position being comfortable with Tolzien and a 7th round pick as the backup options.

    3. Plus they had something like 15 picks and really couldn’t use them all on an already loaded roster. Some times Jr. is just talking out of his a** to stir it up. He can’t really believe that nonsense.

  16. ” His 2013 draft was OK but he didn’t draft a cornerback, forcing him to trade for Eric Wright.”

    Simply not factual. They drafted Marcus Cooper who is a cornerback.

      1. That’s not the point. You were wrong. They did draft a cb in the 7th. They also decided that the areas of need were greater at safety, tackle and tight end. After that, they clearly did not see a cb worthy of being drafted in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th rd. My guess is that there are a bunch of GM’s wishing they’d taken Lemonier over the cb they took instead. Tell me who besides the last two picks is not a star, starter, or contributor in 3 years.

        1(18). Eric Reid, Safety, LSU
        2(40). Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Defensive End, Florida State
        2(55). Vance McDonald, Tight End, Rice
        3(88). Corey Lemonier, Outside Linebacker, Auburn
        4(128). Quinton Patton, Wide Receiver, Louisiana Tech
        4(131). Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, South Carolina
        5(157). Quinton Dial, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
        6(180). Nick Moody, Linebacker, Florida State
        7(237). B.J. Daniels, Quarterback, South Florida
        7(246). Carter Bykowski, Offensive Tackle, Iowa State
        7(252). Marcus Cooper, Defensive Back, Rutgers

      2. Daniners,

        Good post. A number of people, not just Grant, were calling for CB’s to be drafted high because they felt the CB’s were an issue down the stretch. That could still be the case, but obviously the team felt differently and focused more on Safety and pass rush depth. The drop in secondary play coincided with JS’ injury, so the team focused on shoring up the depth behind him. We’ll see if they were right. I think they are but the proof will come on the field.

      3. FAKIA (artist fromerly known as Rocket),

        I just don’t see the logic in waiting one second to declare the 49ers’ 2013 draft class average at best. So funny that you think we should wait to see the “proof on the field”. SMH.

        Who in their right mind would give a rats ass about how these guys play in their first regular season? Don’t even think about waiting three years to assess this draft class. I don’t care what all those stupid NFL GMs, scouts, and experienced analysts say.

        Come on, all you need to know about these guys is A) They’re not Coby Fleener, and B) They’re not CBs. Everything else is completely irrelevant.

        If you’re honest with yourself you’d know that calling this draft class “OK” was restrained, given its collective lack of Fleenerishness or Cornerbackiness (except in the 7th round, the UFA, NA and EW). The only thing that might elevate this class to average is that VM might be Fleener Lite, or, if he’s really lucky, a Fleener clone, just not quite as good as the original.

        BTW, when are you going to change your name to a bunch of indecipherable symbols?

      4. ex,

        Nothing like making snap decisions to be the first to say I told you so right?

        Good idea with the symbols. That seems like the natural recourse for the next stage of my screen name development.

  17. Entire 2012 draft? It was weak I’ll Grant you that, but I’m not giving up on James. Still think he’ll be a player.

    1. Even more than James, Joe Looney may still turn out to be a stud. He was much like several picks this year in that he was injured and really couldn’t participate last year. This is really his first year to show anything and linemen get better, particularly through their 3rd year or so.

      Also, Cam Johnson is still around and a possible steal from the 7th round.
      It’s too bad Fleming couldn’t ever show his value, but what do you do.
      And as mentioned, they got great draft position and picks for 2013, so there was certainly value out of that draft even though they only used 6 picks that year, with to date, just one impact player, but we still need that third year to see how valuable the other players become.

      1. Thanks Grant.

        That makes 7 drops on 91 targets in his 2 year career.

        By comparison Delanie Walker had 7 drops on only 38 targets, yet received a 4 year $17m contract to go to Tennessee.

        Considering their productivity was almost identical this trade just keeps looking better.

      2. MidWest,

        Walker has 8 TD receptions over his 7 year career.

        The Chiefs QB’s and coaching staffs have been awful during Baldwin’s 2 years there. They threw 21 TD’s in 2011 and 2012 combined.

      3. The situation is better with those areas in Kansas City and yet Baldwin couldn’t take advantage of it this preseason Jack.

      4. Big, vertical targets don’t fit Reid’s WCO style MidWest. That’s Baldwin’s strength, and it fits in perfectly opposite Boldin with the offense going downfield more often.

      5. It’s trading a bust for a bust, give me a break. Baalke didn’t get over on the Chiefs, he traded his mistake for theirs. The silver lining is that he cut his losses and moved on, the same as the Chiefs.

      6. Big P,

        If Jenkins had put up the same numbers as Baldwin did in his rookie season we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

        Compare the opprtunity Jenkins had to Baldwin. A Super Bowl contender compared to the worst team in the league. And don’t give me this nonsense that they were holding Jenkins back on purpose. Once Williams went down it opened an opportunity for Jenkins and nothing. They targeted Chad Hall as many times as Jenkins.

        Let’s see what happens, and feel free to call me on it if I am wrong.

      7. MidWest,

        Who cares how menial the opposition was? He was playing on the worst team in the NFL.

        Look at it this way. The consensus for the 49ers WR depth chart to open the season is that the #2 and #3 WR’s will be Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore. Baldwin has as many catches in the first 2 years of his career (41) as those two combined (Williams 35, Moore 6).

        Williams’ 35 receptions came in 29 games. Baldwin’s 41 receptions came over 26 games.

      8. Who cares how menial the opposition was? He was playing on the worst team in the NFL.

        Oh I don’t know. Maybe because he will be playing in a division that sports the toughest defenses let alone the secondaries. One complaint of the Chiefs fans where I live is that he has trouble gaining separation despite being a big-bodied receiver. That isn’t going to cut it here.

      9. “One complaint of the Chiefs fans where I live is that he has trouble gaining separation despite being a big-bodied receiver. That isn’t going to cut it here.”

        Maybe so, but he still has the same number of receptions as Williams and Moore combined as I already stated, and has done it in fewer games. His average of 20.5 receptions per season would put him 3rd on the team behind only Boldin and Collie.

        Kaepernick has a knack for trusting his receivers to make plays so the lack of separation won’t be as much of an issue.

      10. His average of 20.5 receptions per season would put him 3rd on the team behind only Boldin and Collie.

        That was against weak secondaries, which is something that the NFC West doesn’t have.

        Kaepernick has a knack for trusting his receivers to make plays so the lack of separation won’t be as much of an issue.

        He had trouble catching a pass from Alex Smith so what in the world makes you think that he will be able to catch a pass coming from Kaep, a QB who applies plenty of mustard to said pass?

      11. That’s 6 games out of 16 MidWest, plus the 49ers as a team are much more capable of handling tough competition.

        Regarding dropped passes, as I already pointed out, he has 7 on 91 targets. Walker had 7 on 38 targets last year alone.

        Lets see how it plays out. If the play on the field proves me wrong please call me out.

      12. You keep comparing Walker to Baldwin even though they play different positions Jack.
        I hope that I don’t have to call you on it. I am hoping that this Baldwin trade turns out to be a steal, but in order for that to happen, Baldwin needs to do a complete 180. Maybe having a vet like Boldin mentoring him will make him finally realize his potential but (as I said) I’m not holding my breath.

      13. Jack, Baldwin is not a good player. He isn’t, he is a bust like Jenkins. Jenkins has had a non existent year in the league, it is what it is. He couldn’t cut it on a SB caliber team. Baldwin couldn’t cut it on a very mediocre to bad team. Neither of them are good players and both franchises saved face by getting something in return for their failed picks who wouldn’t have made the team anyways. The one thing I found interesting was KW’s comment about A.J. wanting a fresh start and getting the opportunity in K.C. I wonder if Jenkins felt entitled and started giving off the wrong energy towards the coaches. He had a similar issue at Illinois and almost transferred, but ended up staying and becoming a productive player. He needs to grow up and decide if football is for him or not. I personally believe that if you have to make that decision, football isn’t for you. It’s a game that demands passion from its participants.

      14. No one is a bust like Jenkins. Jenkins has 0 catches in any official type of NFL game. 0. We wish Jenkins had Baldwin’s YPR numbers the past two season.

      15. MidWest,

        I have also compared him to the current #2 and #3 WR’s on this years team. Baldwin’s numbers over 26 games are better than those of Williams over 29 games. Baldwins number of recepetions is equal to Williams and Moore combined.

        You act like this WR corps is good. I have news for you, it’s not.

        Earlier someone said the WR group would consist of Boldin, Moore, Williams, Collie, Patton and Baldwin. It might. In that group only Boldin and Collie have more career receptions than Baldwin. Moore could barely get on the field in Miami, but he’s almost a starter here? Williams is at best a #4 receiver, who has a total of 35 receptions in 29 career games.

      16. BigP,

        You repeatedly told me I didn’t know what I was talking about with Jenkins too. Like I already said, let’s see how it plays out, and feel free to call me out on it if I am wrong.

      17. The 3rd best WR on the 2012 49ers finished with 28 receptions for 434 yards, an average of 15.5 ypc.

        Baldwin finished 2012 with 20 receptions for 325 yards, an average of 16.3 yards.

        I think we all can agree that there was a vast difference between the play of Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick, and Matt Cassel/Brady Quinn last year.

      18. You act like this WR corps is good. I have news for you, it’s not.

        And you act like a guy who couldn’t even secure the #2 WR spot on a team that had a worse receiving corps is the answer to what ails out offense. Newsflash: HE’S NOT.
        You also comparing the production of Baldwin (a first round pick) to Williams (a injury-plagued sixth round pick) which is a very weak argument.

      19. The fact that a injury-plagued sixth round pick and an UDFA with 6 receptions in 3 years are the #2 and #3 WR’s on this team tells you how poor this group is.

      20. Williams averaged 15.1 yards per catch compared to Baldwin’s 16.3 yards per catch.
        Williams had 1 TD while Baldwin had two TDs.
        Williams had 14 catches compared to Baldwin’s 20 catches.
        Williams played in 12 games while Baldwin played in 15 games.

        Those are some similar stats despite their height difference and where they were selected in their respective drafts. Sorry Jack but Baldwin’s numbers do not impress me.

      21. Jack, I said I would let it play out with Jenkins. I said if he didn’t step up I would be the first to admit it. He didn’t. He is talented but doesn’t seem to be a football player at heart. You like to think of yourself as some type of amateur GM, capable of breaking down players off of 20 second You Tube clips, and you aren’t. If Baldwin was a decent player he wouldn’t have been traded, same thing with Jenkins. The Niners traded trash with the Chiefs. Nothing more, nothing less. If you want to say one pile of trash is better than the other, go ahead. It’s still trash.

      22. Jack, MidWest, Big P
        Good thread. You guys took that apart every which way last night, went back and forth, but no name calling. Good work.

      23. “You like to think of yourself as some type of amateur GM, capable of breaking down players off of 20 second You Tube clips, and you aren’t.”

        Nah. I know I am good, but if all I had watched was a 20 second YouTube clip of Jenkins I would have thought he was good. In fact I did think he might be decent, until I found coverage of every offensive snap from 6 games Illinois played his senior season against varying degrees of competition. After taking some notes there, doing some basic statistical analysis and reading as many reports on the guy as possible I came to the conclusion that he was going to struggle.

        It’s ok Big, you’re a good football guy too. That’s why I enjoy the banter with you.

      24. Hammer quote: “I know I am good”….. I love the confidence Jack. It reminds me of Mark Sanchez recently saying “I’m in command.” Lol
        BigP is coming up with some good stuff too. It’s a good clean blog-battle between the two of you. Clean so far :)
        I believe in you (Hammer) and BigP but Mark Sanchez is fooling himself……He sucks!

      25. “If Baldwin was a decent player he wouldn’t have been traded, same thing with Jenkins.”

        Perhaps this was not intentional, but the above quote seems to purport that the ability of a player can be determined from the player’s trade status. However, concluding that a player is not a decent player merely because that player is traded is a fallacy. The reasons for which a player may be traded are manifold, and not all are related to the player’s abilities. Reasons for which a player may be traded that are unrelated to the player’s aptitude include: the player is overpaid for the market; the player is the wrong “fit” schematically; the player’s position is unavailable on the player’s current team; the player does not work well with fellow players; the player does not work well with the coaching staff; the player has personal/family reasons for seeking a trade; etc. Given that a myriad of causal factors may provide the impetus for a trade, to exclude consideration of those factors and claim that a trade would not have occurred if the player was a decent player is problematic.

        Two very recent examples of players being traded for reasons other than their performance should be quite familiar even to casual 49ers’ fans. One example is Anquan Boldin. Boldin was not traded because of lack of performance. He was traded because the Ravens wanted to free up salary cap space and because they believed he was overpaid for his age (i.e. his salary was above market price for a wide receiver with his statistics and of his age). If we use the “logic” evidenced above, we must conclude that Boldin is not a decent player because he was traded, and was traded for merely a sixth round pick at that. However, the facts as we know them do not support such an assertion, and I do not think any knowledgeable fan would claim so.

        The second example is Alex Smith. Alex Smith was not traded because he was performing poorly — he was performing competently before he was injured. Rather, he was traded because he was replaced as starting quarterback by a better player; because he did not want to be a backup; and because he was overpriced as a backup. Given those facts, his greatest value to the 49ers was not his continued presence of the team, but rather his trade compensation and the cap space his departure created. Thus, they traded him, not because he was a bad player, but because he was no longer needed and his trade value outweighed his value as a member of the 49ers (the 49ers’ current backup QB situation not withstanding). It would be fallacious to conclude that Smith is a not a decent player just because he was traded. He may prove to be ineffective outside of Harbaugh’s system (although I do not believe that this will be the case), but the proof of such an occurrence would come from his actual play, not the fact that he was traded.

        With Jonathan Baldwin, the issues discussed heretofore present a “mixed bag”. He has clearly been more productive to date than the player for which he was traded, and as Jack points out, he has performed better than comparable wide receivers now on the 49ers roster. However, accounts indicate he may have attitudinal issues, problems learning his role in an offense, and questionable hands. Looked at objectively, he appears to be a mediocre receiver who may be trending toward being a problematic player if indeed he has issues working with teammates and coaches.

        As has been covered above and elsewhere in this thread, evidence exists that supports the contention that Jonathan Baldwin may not be a decent player, and evidence exists that supports that his presence on the 49ers this year may be beneficial (the two positions are not necessarily mutually exclusive, contrary to what many may think). There may even be a modicum of evidence to date to support Grant’s conclusion that this is the best move Baalke has made in the last two years, but that support is tenuous at best given the lack of data. However, regardless of Baldwin’s aptitude and future impact on the 49ers, and regardless of how this transaction will be judges when sufficient data is available, it is simply fallacious to conclude that fact that he was traded is proof that he is a bad player. His actual play and his impact on his new team are the data that will allow the determination of whether he is a decent player, not his trade status.

        Finally, although the thrust of the above comments is about Baldwin, I thought it proper to mention the other half of the trade as well. While I see little evidence that A.J. Jenkins will become a decent player, his trade status is not proof of his abilities, or lack thereof. As with Baldwin, Boldin and Smith, his trade status indicates that his former team considered his trade value to be worth more than his continued presence on the team, and it is important to remember that such a cost-benefit analysis incompasses more factors than just aptitude.

      26. Good debate here and strong points made all around. The bottom line imo is, the Niners are not deep at WR and Baldwin will be given every opportunity to win a job here. Whether he can or not is to be decided. I think both teams are hoping for the best but probably not counting on either guy to be a big contributor, at least this season anyway.

      27. I’m having trouble trying to decide whether that was the longest post I’ve ever seen in here EVER or the shortest novel I’ve ever come across.

      28. I have to agree with Jack on this one. Baldwin seems to have a better shot at making a contribution this year (based on his past production with a really bad team/QB) than AJ does. Time will tell but on the surface it looks like we got the better player plus a little cap relief.

      29. We traded a guy with potential but no passion for another guy with potential but no passion. Sorry but that isn’t the example of a good deal.

      30. JPN:

        Thanks for the well-written and well-reasoned comment. We don’t get enough of those around here. Please keep contributing.

      31. Crab
        Come on man you have been around here a while, that whole post would just be the first paragraph of a certain poster who has not been here much since AS was traded although I swear he still comes with different names. DS9Xev ring a bell?

        Strong work sir. A well thought out argument supported by facts to back up your position. This isnt Twitter and im glad we have more that 140 characters to express ourselvs. Enjoyed the read even if Crab thought it was too long. Keep it up

    1. I’m sorry but blaming Baldwin for not producing allstar numbers with Cassell as his QB is crazy. Bad O-line protection and a subpar QB will adversely affect any WR. Look at Fitz’s season in Arizona last year.

      1. Basically. He couldn’t even make it to the beginning of the regular season, so again I ask what is his excuse this year?

      2. In addition to a bad O-line, and bad QB play, they lost their RB to an injury. It was a disfunctional offense with no offensive weapons.

        The Niners are a running team above anything and they have the weapons, and the plans, to chew you up on the ground. I think most D coordinators would be insane to try to play press coverage on Boldin/Balwin and the TE’s. These WR’s are big and strong, and are going to become big part of the running game….and thus the passing game–pass action.

      3. MWN
        How about Playing with a QB who for one reason or another chooses to target TE and RB over the WR. The next pass AS completes to the WR will be his first one.
        I somewhat agree with you that trash for trash trade is still the trading of trash but for schematic/mental reasons one mans trash is the other mans (i dont want to say treasure cuz baldwin is far from that) less than trash. I was an ardent AJJ supporter because I didnt think he got a sufficient opportunity to prove himself if the FO felt that going forward he wasnt going to get that opportunity anyways then trading him was the only solution. Baldwin could suck and not contribute for us this year but from the loks of it AJJ wasn’t going to contribute for us either

    2. In assessing why the Chiefs would be willing to trade Baldwin for Jenkins it is important to keep in mind that Andy Reid likes quick, fast WRs. Baldwin is a build up speed kind of guy, and didn’t really suit that offense.

      Yes, it is a trade of swapping busts, but it is also about finding better fits for the respective players/ teams. Baldwin could surprise.

      1. I agree Scooter. I don’t know what attracted Baalke to Jenkins but he was never going to be a SE in this offense. His success in College usually came on short passes where he could use his quickness and speed. As a SE he not only had to fight off man coverage but he was being asked to run deeper routes which isn’t his forte. This appears to be a pick that Baalke went off the board with and tried to force feed into a system he didn’t fit in. Baldwin for all the negative attitude stories appears to fit the mold Harbaugh likes size wise so we’ll see if they can get his mind straight and turn him into a playmaker.

    1. Yeah it was. Hopefully JB makes the squad and produces for us as he already has for KC.

      What’s not to like? Plus the AJ distraction is gone

    2. I’ll be happy if Baldwin only uses his physicality to smash Dick Sherman in the mouth a few times every game…lol. We know that AJ is basically a 192 lb weakling that will have physical DB’s like Sherman kick sand in his face all game.
      Reports are coming out (now that 17 is gone) that he was a last in 1st out guy in the weight room. Dude is soft mentally and physically. Not a good fit on a team with guys like J Smith ,Kap, Gore…the list is long and AJ was a misfit.

  18. Baalke doesn’t get any credit for the Alex Smith trade also?

    Baldwin for Jenkins is a pretty sweet deal though, I’m as shocked as most that they pulled the trigger on that move. KC really loves our failed former first rounders I guess.

  19. Reasons to like this trade even tough I know zip about Baldwin…

    Cap Space – I’m assuming Balwin’s salary cap hit is one year less the Jenkins. For that alone I like this deal.

    ST – With his size, at least there is the possibility that Baldwin can play special teams. With Jenkins the idea of his whispy-thin body running back kicks makes me shudder.

    Closure – Six phases of Jenkins.
    (1) Shock and embarrassment when I watched the draft with my employers and was predicting Fleener or Hill
    (2) Hope when I saw his youtube highlights and the smooth way he ran and caught passes
    (3) Defiance when people immediately called him a bust
    (4) Unease when he failed to catch single pass and FA walk ons got more play time then he did
    (5) Anger when he lifted weights all off season and only gained a whopping 4lbs
    (6) Relief when he was traded this morning. I was wrong. Grant was spot on. Won’t quit my rose pruning job. Time to move on.

    1. Well said. I’m with ya on all but #3. But the defiance was short lived. When he couldn’t even muster ONE catch I got a sinking feeling. Baalke does deserve credit for cutting his losses.

      1. Same here. My defiance was in the weeks after he was drafted. After the zero catch season the defiance vanished.

  20. Grant, you make yourself look bad (Stupid) when you make negative comments which are in essence un-true…. Trent Baalke has drafted Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Bruce Miller, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Eric Reid, Vance McDonald, and many others… He didn’t draft QB Blaine Gabbert he took Aldon Smith, then Kaepernick in the second round, He made a brilliant trade with KC in Alex Smith for what could be two number 2′s…. he stole Anquan Boldin from Baltimore when 19 other teams wanted him, he has managed the cap brilliantly, didn’t offer contracts to Peyton Manning, Dashon Goldson, Issac Sapaolu, Rickey Jean Francois, and others, he stockpiles draft picks like you do toothpicks, His Forty Niners have played in the NFC Championship game the past 2 years, Trent Baalke is one of the brightest GM’s in all of sports…. quit trying to be like your old, sour, negative Father…

    1. Agree, Grant has issues with the 49ers because they didn’t prove him right in his pre draft picks and His dad was abused by Coach at a Mon. morning presser, so he takes his passive aggressive shots when ever he can, including doing an entire piece on Coach’s contradictions and claiming Seattle’s `13 draft is top 5 but SF’s isn’t top 10 when NO other insider/columnist saw it that way.

      1. Good for u guys. Couldn’t agree more. We need to continue to fact check this guy. Some of his statements are bold faced lies.

      2. Fact checking Grant reveals that he often makes small “mistakes” that always seem to bolster his argument. Need some examples from recent columns?

        1. Said Justin Smith was 34 instead of will turn 34 on September 30. At least Grant didn’t try that with Boldin’s age in this column.

        2. Printed a quote stating Bubba Paris and Jesse Sapolu predated Bill Walsh.

        3. Included Pat Burrell in a list of Brian Sabean’s over-paid role players. Per Baseball reference Burrell made less that 1 million from the Giants in 2010 and 1 million in 2011. This mistake was especially egregious because he could have done some research and come up with 5-10 guys who actually were role players that Sabean overpaid.

        4. Included Harrison Barnes in a list of warriors who could not elevate, dunk on, and get fouled by NBA shot blockers. Try googling “Harrison Barnes”. You’ll get images of him posterizing two NBA shot-blockers.

        5. This is my favorite: Grant stated that Andre Iguodala improved the Denver Nuggets by 21 games from their previous year’s win total. Per basketball reference the Nuggets won 57 games in 12-13 and 38 games in 11-12. Simple typo, right? Grant also fails to mention that the 11-12 season was only 66 games while the 12-13 season was 82 games. If you use win percentages and do some math you come up with an improvement of 10 games. Not quite as impressive as Grant’s claim of 21 games.

        After reading your dissection of Grant’s ridiculous “Balke can’t draft wide receivers” column I had to add my 5 cents. Everyone doesn’t drink the Cohn Kool-Aid.

  21. There is a lot of hope on here for a guy who the Chiefs organization deemed that they were better off not having. This is going to go down as one of the worst Baalke moves.

    1. How do you figure? Unless AJ goes All-Pro on us, that is not possible.

      It’s much easier to teach skills than to try to instill heart and determination. No risk move with potential for big rewards!

  22. It took brains to identify Baldwin as a diamond in the rough. He’s the most talented receiver the 49ers have acquired since they drafted Michael Crabtree in 2009.

    That’s a joke right?

      1. I would believe you if you said that he is the most physically gifted WR that Baalke has acquired since Crabtree. Baldwin isn’t even close to the most talented Grant. That honor belongs to Manningham and possibly even Patton.

      2. AJ Jenkins could very well be the most talented receiver the 49ers drafted since Crabtree. But talent alone won’t cut it.

      3. Couple of things, Baldwin was one of the most talented players coming out in 2011. He was also one of the biggest head cases. Career underachiever at Pittsburgh, would appear lazy and disinterested at times. Those traits have surfaced in nfl. All said, his talent coming out was undeniable, but better than Manningham, Patton, and Jenkins? Dont know, totally different player…slow and big versus small and quick.

    1. Baldwin is a WR that couldn’t take hold of being the #2 WR on a team that had a worse receiving corps than the Niners. Don’t sugarcoat it.

  23. This must be a huge relief for Baalke. He had to be squirming with the possibility that he was probably going to have to cut his one year old first round pick and admit defeat on a move that was highly questioned at the time.

    This isn’t a trivia question cause I don’t know the answer but when was the last time a first round pick was traded after one season?

    1. But C
      Does that make it a bad trade? Even if this dude doesn’t make the team, which I doubt, its an escape clause. Cut your losses as soon as possible. Trent hates this, but I like it as a best option.

      1. BT I’ve never suggested it was a bad trade, I like it quite a bit. Baldwin was someone that I started watching a few years ago as a potential fantasy sleeper. Lack of a QB is why I assumed he didn’t pan out and he’s my kind of receiver physically speaking. I’m very excited to see what he can do on a good team with a good QB.

  24. What’s making me chuckle is the thought that Sean Smith must have gone back to the sidelines and talked some stuff about AJ after he shut him down the other night.

    Oh by the way, meet your new teammate Sean.

    1. Jenkins: I don’t know how I am going to be able to play against guys like Sean Smith.
      Baalke: I have a solution for that.
      Jenkins: What?
      Baalke: Pack your bags.
      Jenkins: Why?
      Baalke: Because that guy is your new teammate. CHEERS! (raises a glass of tequila)

  25. I feel good about the trade. I will know exactly how good when I see a comparison of their respective salary cap hits.

    There is a good chance Baldwin gets cut. This could be more of a cap structure swap then a player trade.

    1. Did a bit of poking around. A nice little writeup is here

      Looks like KC gets some 2013 cap relief, the 49ers get some much needed 2014 cap relief. This trade may be less about WRs, and more about retaining Kaep, Aldon, Iupati and the gang.

      Unfortunately both teams will be hit with dead money
      49ers – $873,187 in 2013, $1,746,374 in 2014
      KC – $998,018 in 2013, $998,018 in 2014

      That’s the breaks when your #1 draft pick turns out to be a stinker.

  26. Grant, the Chiefs were going to cut Baldwin just like the 49ers were going to cut Jenkins. The teams traded guaranteed salaries of their draft bust for a chance to make something of the other guy’s bust. Both teams knew they didn’t want the guy they had but they had to pay him this year, so why not try out the guy they don’t know. Nothing to lose for wait her team. I bet Baldwin doesn’t make the 49ers’ 53, or if he does, he catches fewer than 50 balls this year.

    1. “I bet Baldwin doesn’t make the 49ers’ 53, or if he does, he catches fewer than 50 balls this year.”

      You do realize that only 1 49er WR caught more than 50 passes last year right?

      1. Heh, yeah, that did give me a chuckle. If Baldwin get anywhere near 50 catches this year then this trade will be one for the ages.

  27. Now Baldwin gets to go up against Nnamdi Asomugha everyday in practice, the guy who owned him in the last preseason game! One would hope this makes Baldwin better…

  28. I had given up on Grant Cohn some time ago, but for some foolish reason I came back for this trade story. I now realize my error was fatal and it is time to erase this hack from my memory bank. If it was not for your father, you would be nothing. Deservedly so. This was an OK trade but your hyperbole is nauseating.

    1. The best reason to visit here is the to get the takes of the commenters not the blogger. Grant does a good job of stimulating conversation and to his credit is engaged in the conversation himself.

      1. Great point!
        This post pushes the envelope with a good argument that has fired up a smart debate. I particularly enjoy the pro Baldwin / con Baldwin between Hammer and Mid West.
        Heady stuff found no where else.

    2. I love it when haters claim not to read your stuff and then post hateful comments on the stuff you wrote, like they were forced to read it.

  29. In a basketball anology, Jeremy Lin couldn’t make the Warrior’s team. A change of scenery vaulted his career.

    All I’m saying is, let’s wait and see what happens before burying JB.

    1. It all evens out between the Niners and Chiefs’ basic arithmetic!
      Alex (#1) + AJ (#30) == Dorsey (#5) + Baldwin (#26)

      1. Indigo – Ha…….very clever.

        Dorsey has not impressed me at all so far. Ian Williams is the real deal though. They guy is nearly unblockable.

  30. Just found the cap ramifications of the trade:

    The 49ers will have dead money charges from Jenkins of $873,187 in 2013 and $1,746,374 in 2014. They remove Jenkins’ $705,797 in 2013 base salary, and will no longer have to pay him the $1,727,391 in salary and any bonuses they would have otherwise owed him.

    In adding Baldwin, the 49ers will take on his $1,061,510 base salary in 2013, which is guaranteed. Beyond that, in 2014, Baldwin is owed $1,274,765 with a total cap charge of $1,404,765. The important thing to note is that none of the 2014 money is guaranteed. The 49ers have a lot of salary cap question marks in 2014 and beyond, so this creates some flexibility in that regard.-Jason, Over the Cap

    1. Matt,

      I’m pretty sure only Baldwin’s 2013 salary of just over $1M is guaranteed. After that, the 49ers are off the hook.

      1. Yea, I forgot to mention that if the knuckle head disappears and he is a keeper for 2014 then not much is saved in the deal. That will come down to his contract renegotiations. And then we might see the the knuckle head reappear.

    2. What I have been saying. What is a carved in stone given in this trade is the cap advantage for both teams and especially the Niners. The debate over Baldwin has been interesting, but there is nothing carved in stone about the possible new found success of either of these players. Carved in ether ware maybe.
      A footnote on that stone is that the Niners got the better end of the financial deal and that is simply because they had the most market place leverage. KC needs money now (a measly $7500 under the cap if I recall). They gave up the long term savings for a desperately needed short term fix.

      Baalke made another savvy move for the future not unlike his trading of draft picks for future draft picks. In essence he transferred the money to the proven Niner players we know. Baldwin is an unknown. Right now he is just a possible bonus to the real (carved in stone) deal.

  31. …and will no longer have to pay him the $1,727,391 in salary and any bonuses they would have otherwise owed him.

    Yeah and I’m pretty sure he had a bonus in his contract that became payable if he caught a single pass during the regular season. Whew! We dodged a bullet!


  32. Grant one thing you did not include in your article is [from everything i've read] Baldwin is a knucklehead. He has already assualted one of his teamates. In Harbaughs 2 yrs he has always had a very positive culture in the lockeroom, its not worth risking for a cement handed WR who was hated by Andy Reid in a very short time. You are right it was a good trade because it will create cap relief for KC in the short term which is what they need and create cap relief for the 9ers in the long term which is what the 9ers need. Baldwin is a bust.

    1. “Baldwin is a knucklehead. He has already assualted one of his teamates. In Harbaughs 2 yrs he has always had a very positive culture in the lockeroom,”

      This is a great move for the lockeroom Coach. Word is the first 49er to meet Baldwin when he arrived yesterday was Ahmad Brooks.

    2. I agree. The “trade” functions as a cut that shifts a little cap burden from 2014 back to 2013.

      The 49ers will still eat alot of dead money for Jenkins in 2013 and 2014. The 2014 cap relief is less then $1M but they “traded” Jenkins anyway. That’s how badly they thought of AJ’s play.

      I give Baldwin a small chance to make the team. A big and tall formation with Boldin, McDonald, Davis and Baldwin would be a matchup nightmare for defenses in the red zone… (if Baldwin wasn’t a stinker that he appears to be)

    3. Good point Coach. I guess the feeling is maybe this will be a wakeup call for Baldwin and maybe his attitude will be changed by being around a SB caliber team with character guys in leadership roles. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  33. ‘assaulted one of his teammates’
    Well, at least we know he’s a little tougher than AJ! (just kidding) This will be a wake up call for both guys, we’ll see how they respond.

    1. I like your group but think Lockette is a question mark. I hope he makes it. If they cut him, I think it would signal they have given up on him, since I believe there would be a good chance someone else signs him.

    2. I can’t see Lockette making the roster over Kassim Osgood. Nobody mentions this guy, but he’s a 3-time pro-bowler on special teams. He was a monster (on ST) in the Denver game.

      Boldin, Williams, Baldwin, Patton, Moore, Collie, Osgood.

    3. I don’t think they’ll keep 7. Hall is still in consideration I would think.
      I also wonder if they release Collie and sign him back week#2. Guessing.

    4. rob,

      I agree with the list with the exception of Lockette. I don’t think he makes it and they go with 6 WR’s on the final roster. Collie could be on the bubble but I think he offers more than the others like Hall, Osgoode and Hawkins as a slot receiver.

  34. Grant,
    You’ve highlighted many times how Jenkins didn’t go up and get the ball. This not only makes for poor receiving stats, but it also makes him a liability for picks.

    With our O-line, a great D, and Kaep running the read option, defenses will continue to cheat with the safety. Baldwin seems perfectly suited for us in that context IF (?) Kaep can learn to trust him. A tall, physical, and fast guy is exactly who you want to play action to in that type of situation; particularly if VD is getting doubled.

    I don’t know if he’ll realize his potential, but I completely agree with your take on the value of the trade. We’ve turned a losing hand (AJ) into the potential for a winner.

  35. your conclusion isn’t wrong but your analysis is once again obviously biased.

    Baldwin has quite a number of deficiencies as a receiver. You’re right that his hands are a primary issue. But also he has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage (which is odd for a 6’4+ 230 lb receiver). He runs poor routes. and doesn’t appear to put in the time and effort to get better.

    [i]But last season, he dropped only one and he was targeted 40 times according to Pro Football Focus. So, maybe his hands aren’t a major issue.[/i]

    He was only targeted 40 times because all the other times he couldn’t get open.

    [b]Baldwins primary physical deficiency is that he isn’t very quick.[b/] He doesn’t get separation and relies on his size to physically contest defenders for the ball (a good trait in the red zone). Baldwin is a long strider with build up straight line speed (decent above average speed but straight line build up speed none the less) and not all that agile. For all of A.J. Jenkin’s deficiencies, quickness wasn’t one of them.

    You are right that Jenkins appeared to have the initial physical attributes of a slot receiver. He may have been able to develop beyond that role but for some reason the Niners had him line up at all of the positions; I guess to make him a versatile back up? Lining Jenkins up at Split End to beat press coverage seemed like a punishment. The Niners have a dearth of slot type of receivers so maybe Baldwin’s size and straight line speed are better fits for their need of an outside receiver that could POTENTIALLY beat press coverage. Another intriguing possibility is that I read that the Chiefs tried Baldwin out at TE a couple times last year. Baldwin is supposed to be a pretty good blocker. Whether or not he’s just a good WR blocker or has receiving TE blocking skills, I don’t know. But you know Harbaugh and Roman like that kind of versatility.

      1. but this is a blog that has been manned by professional beat writers before Grant. Writers that generally do their research and usually offer a fairly objective analysis before offering their opinion.

      2. Grant just has a different style than the guys before him. He’s younger and more opinionated which generates a lot of response both positive and negative but there’s nothing wrong with different points of view or styles.

      3. affp
        Matt M was excellent, Barber was fine, Branch was excellent, but Bob Padecky, a veteran sports journalist, sucked on this blog. He wasn’t engaged and it showed. So I’m not sure its journalism that makes it or breaks it. As Rocket (Fing) states, its a different style. Many here like his interactive approach to his readers, and in fact, MB & MM have followed Grant’s lead in that direction.
        Yep, Grant’s highly opinionated, but who among us can overcome their DNA Hard Wiring? (Hopefully everyone understands that was said in light hearted jest.)
        When Grant started his lack of perspective and experience were made glaring by the Cohn family penchant for criticism, ego-popping, and provocative semantics. IMO, lately his use of stats has really helped his perspective. While I’m only mildly a fan of quantitative analysis in sports, it has undeniable application but almost never tells the whole story. Yet it seems to have helped Grant grow in his role to be able to see the forest and the trees. That’s why I’m still here.
        We’ll be past AJJ pretty soon (UNlike Alex, LOL!), but my final thought on the Draft Day 2012 Curfuffle:
        I still think Grant over-reacted that day. He had wayyyyyyy insufficient information to make those snap judgements, and the fact that Jenkins busted doesn’t change that. A fellow with more experience might well have taken a different approach. I don’t remember Matt M’s exact quote, but it was something like ‘I don’t really know much about that prospect, so I can’t offer much comment other than its a surprise.’ THAT’s perspective.
        Grant’s reporting and critiques since then have been fine, but have been viewed with suspicion of bias. I think he’s been asking the right questions about Jenkins, and we got our answer from the FO.

      4. @ Allforfunplay: wait are you saying a) Grant doesn’t do research? What’s your proof? or b) that we should judge his writing style by those who came before him — just because they got here first?

  36. Why are so many people concerned that Ricardo Lockette might not make it to the Practice Squad after he gets cut?

    I know there were some nice articles about how hard he worked over the summer, and that he chose to stick in SF instead of going elsewhere last year, but while 16 49ers have caught a pass this preseason, Lockette has none. Even AJ Jenkins had at least 1.

    1. I think people fell for the hype Jack. He’s big, strong and fast and is Kaps good buddy and roommate. The opportunity was there, but the kid just doesn’t seem to be able to translate what he has into a consistent presence on the field. He’ll make it to the PS if they want to keep him for another year, but at his age I’m not sure they will.

    2. Yeah, that’s a head scratcher for me too Jack. But then I didn’t read too much into the hype this off-season – didn’t think much of him last year and nothing has changed.

  37. As a first round bust, AJ Jenkins’ lack of success had become a major distraction for the team. This was a case of two teams cutting their losses and making the most out of a bad situation.

    Grant’s exaggerations and his liberties with facts aside, this was indeed a decisive move by Baalke. I think Matt Maiocco summarizes the situation best: “This is certainly not a win-win situation for the 49ers. It’s a loss, plain and simple. But Baalke and the 49ers acted quickly to minimize the loss. And for that, the organization deserves credit.”

    For the folks who are building up expectations from Baldwin base on his physical attributes, Dwight Clark mentioned on CSN Sports that 80% of the success of a NFL WR is based on the stuff above the shoulder — a region that has not been the strength for Baldwin. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.

    While he may make the final 53, I don’t expect Baldwin to have any significant role in the Niners’ season with just two weeks to prepare. By the time he’ll have learned the offense to any extent, Manningham will be back, and he’ll sink further in the depth chart. His best bet would be to somehow impress the coaches to remain in the 53 and develop his role in the offense in the off-season.

  38. It was an excellent trade mainly with regards to the salery cap for both teams… Jenkins clearly was a bust in SF. My experience as a football coach is that you can teach a guy (or girl) how to catch the football, playing with passion and competing on a daily basis, however, is a different story alltogether…

  39. You’re making some serious assumptions here Grant. First off, the 2012 draft featured 2 picks in the first 3 rounds. Not exactly a recipe for greatness and impact from the class. Yes he could have found a better player than Jenkins as it turns out, but nobody from that class was going to come in and take a starting job last year.

    Second, they didn’t have to trade for Eric Wright because of not selecting a CB. You concocted the idea that they needed to draft a CB but they didn’t feel that way obviously, and with what we’ve seen early on, it looks promising with what they currently have. Wright was looked at and ultimately signed because he was available for next to nothing and they were interested in him the year before. If he can’t practice soon, he most likely won’t make the final cut and they certainly are not counting on him to play a big role at this point.

    The Boldin trade looks like a stroke of genius right now.

    The Colt McCoy trade was not even close to horrendous. They traded a 7th round pick that likely wouldn’t even make the roster and moved down a few slots to secure a veteran QB. That’s exactly the type of move you make with a young talented roster that has QB questions after the starter. McCoy could be the backup and gives this team some experience at the position should Kap get hurt. If he is cut in favor of Tolzien then so be it, but they gave up little to take a look. Don’t put so much emphasis on a preseason performance behind different variations of personnel groups. If McCoy has to play during the season it will be with starters not backups.

    As far as Baldwin goes, he’s got all the measurables but hasn’t done much with his opportunities and was singled out by Reid publically as a guy that needed to do more with his chances. Maybe he fulfills his potential in SF but it’s far from a done deal the way you are making it out to be. I hope you’re right because if the light goes on for this kid, he has the natural ability to be a heck of a player, but until we see it happen it’s about on the same level as hoping Jenkins would get it at some point.

      1. Nice post, Rocket, er, FAKIA.

        What stands out to me is on one hand it’s a horrible mistake to use a seventh round pick to acquire a possible back up QB (especially one who has experience as a NFL starter). I infer from the extreme reaction to the assumed wasting of a seventh round pick, that seventh round picks are more prized than most are aware.

        On the other hand, a CB drafted last April with one of those “prized” seventh round picks is only given credit for demonstrating that the 49ers didn’t do enough to correct their defficiency at CB. I infer from this comment that seventh round picks aren’t very valuable after all.

        I’m wondering, why two positions on seventh round picks? It’s like Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men” first saying that Private Santiago was transfered because he was in danger and then saying it was because he was a substandard marine.

        1. Cooper won’t make the team and McCoy probably won’t, either. They’re not good. So, the 49ers wasted those picks. It’s never good to waste picks.

      2. Grant,

        What are percentage does a seventh round pick make an NFL roster, especially on one as loaded as the 49ers’?

        I’ve seen the numbers before, and they’re not very high. I would guess if a good team had one late round pick (fifth, sixth or seventh) make the roster, that would be considered a success, and two would be considered a home run.

  40. I find it surprising the majority think Baldwin makes the final 53. Looks to me like a pretend trade designed to give (a little) 2014 salary cap relief.

    The 49ers will be cutting players that will be snapped up by other teams. Would they really let go Dial, Tukuafu, Dobbs, MarQueis Gray, Hampton, Dixon, Nick Moody, Nnamdi, Cam Johnson or any number of players to make room for a known blockhead?

    There are some enticing notions about Baldwin.
    Tall Game – Imagine a red zone formation with Baldwin, Boldin, Vernon Davis and McDonald. Scary for any defense that lacks a full compliment of tall DBs. Kaep could torture secondaries playing pitch and catch over the heads of corner backs.

    Boldin Magic – Given Baldwin’s size, maybe he could pick up on some of Boldin’s techniques on how to body DBs out of position like a power forward.

    Conversion to TE – Anyone know how well Baldwin run blocks? That could be the make or break skill that determines if he makes the squad.

    1. “Rest assured, Jon Baldwin will be on 49ers when the season begins. He’ll be on the 53-man roster. Now, he just has to earn a role.” That’s a strong take coming from Maiocco. He is usually not so decisive.

      1. Jack i agree i think he will be on the 53 man roster for a yr. He may not suit for games but he will be on the roster unless he turns out to be a total punk. Getting Andy Reid to dislike you so stongly in such a short period of time is worrisome.

      2. MMs the voice of record in my book. If Baldwin makes the squad the WR corp is set at Boldin, Williams, Moore, Patton and Baldwin with Manningham returning in Oct.

        The 49ers will try to stash Lockette and/or WRs on the PS.

        1. Osgood might make the team as a gunner, but I agree with those five. It’s looking like Austin Collie won’t make it.

      3. Mid,

        Hall is on the bubble with Collie but the problem I have with him is he doesn’t seem to make much of an impact on gameday. He’s so small that he has to be great in another area to make up for it and he really isn’t. They may keep him, I don’t know but he’s not a guy like Sproles who has better speed and shiftiness. What he appears to be is a try hard guy who gives his all but doesn’t have a whole lot to give. No matter who makes it between him, Collie or Osgoode if they do keep one of them, they really are only keeping the spot warm until Manningham comes of the Injury list anyway.

        I agree with Maiocco that Baldwin will make the roster. I can’t see how they would be able to make an informed decision on him in two weeks, so I’m guessing they see how he progress’ through the first 6 weeks and then make a decision on his long term status when Manningham is ready to return.

      4. I can’t see how they would be able to make an informed decision on him in two weeks, so I’m guessing they see how he progress’ through the first 6 weeks and then make a decision on his long term status when Manningham is ready to return.

        So Baldwin is the new Jenkins then? Taking up a roster spot that another player is more deserving of. Lovely.

      5. Collie only makes the team if he wins the slot WR role. If he doesn’t, he’s a goner. He brings little additional value to the team. As Grant outlined, at the moment it looks like he’s losing that battle to Williams/ Moore.

        If they keep 6 WRs, the 6th guy would be primarily a ST guy. And he’d probably only be on the team until week 7 when Manningham can be activated.

      6. Collie brings productivity and Baldwin doesn’t. And I believe that Manningham may be on the outside looking in when he is able to come off the PUP list.

      7. Yes, we get it MidWest, you think Baldwin is a bum. However, he’s still probably going to be on the final 53. So… of the other WRs, Collie is the one in most danger of not making the team as he is strictly a slot WR. If he doesn’t win the job outright he’s gone.

      8. I never once called Baldwin a bum Scooter. I am just pointing out that (like Jenkins) Baldwin will be taking up a roster spot that another is more worthy of having. I have watched some of games. As I have said earlier, unless Baldwin does a complete 180 he isn’t worthy of being on this roster.

    2. Your TE idea is interesting. Not as fast as Vernon, but if Baldwin sticks, it could work out that way. I realize a lot of people are getting excited about him, including me. I think what will happen is they will ignore his play and base their evaluation solely on his attitude and ability to be coached/mentored. If they like him for that, they will try to hide him some way. Also, I like the names you want to keep, with these reservations:
      – I think Tukuafu and Johnson won’t make it.
      – I tend to think they’ll release Hampton because I think Dixon is ready for an expanded role.
      These are educated guesses. We’ll see.

      1. I agree re Tukuafu and Johnson. Its a shame because Tukuafu was coming along. They both make other squads after the cut down.

      2. Tukuafu is going to make the team. They will carry 6 DL on the 53: J Smith, McDonald, Williams, Dorsey, Dobbs, and Tukuafu.

        Dial and Carradine will end up spending the season on the sidelines watching and getting stronger for next year when Dobbs and Tukuafu are FA’s.

      3. So if Dial & Caradine are on PUP they can’t be activated before 6 weeks, but they don’t HAVE to be activated then, right? They can stay longer, ‘getting healthy’, until a spot comes open later due to injury? That wouldn’t intimidate me all that much, to know we could bring in Tank late, assuming he’s ready to play.

      4. Brotha,

        That is right. Below are the new PUP rules. This option allows them to keep them as options to join the active roster should a need arise due to injury, etc through week 11. After that point they have to either activate them or put them on the season ending reserve/PUP list.

        “Commencing on the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend (October 15) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend (November 19), clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform for a period not to exceed 21 calendar days. Pads and helmets are permitted during the 21-day period. At any time during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, clubs are permitted to restore such players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform to their Active/Inactive List.”

      5. While it would help the team carry more players, I’d hate to see so many rookies lose an entire season. If Tank and Dial are healthy enough to practice and play, I think the benefits of that supersede the luxury of redshirting them for a year. They literally would be rookies again next year when they may be needed for bigger roles. Not saying it won’t happen, as it very well could, but I’d rather see them get the practice time and experience this season to hit the ground running next year.

  41. grant…i think jed york should fire baalke and hire you as g.m.–your first move can be a trade for jerrious wright…did you even watch baldwin friday nite? He got seperation 1 time and dropped the deep in pass…he stumbled over his or ashomugha’s feet on another deep pass…every other time i saw him he wasnt close to being open….you say niners gave up nothing to get baldwin, and maybe youre right..but im sure the chiefs are saying they gave up nothing to get jenkins

  42. With Crabs and Manningham out for some time and the injuries that Williams had in the past i think it would be logical to carry 7 WR’s Brotha tuna.

    1. Robwco
      Its just “expensive” in terms of amassing resources. I will say if one or two of the WRs are core ST guys (like Osgood), then it makes more sense to be heavy there.

  43. Major concensus on his flaws are that he plays too tall and is tight at the hips, lacking the quickness and fluidity to separate underneath. Due to this, he was used primarily as a vertical threat in college.

    And the concensus on his strengths are that he showed good concentration in jump-ball situations, flashing the ability to shield defenders and high-point the ball. His catching radius was extremely wide and he can make plays on the ball that not many can.
    And after the Catch Due to his immense size and very good strength he is hard to take down Baldwin .

    I think his flaws can be fixed.

    Thats why he fits our offense.

    1. he’s not quick and agile. a WR can make up for physical deficiencies in size, strength speed, quickness and even agility by learning how to run precise routes. Both Baldwin and Jenkins are deficient in different physical skills areas and neither has shown the ability to learn their playbook and craft at running routes.

      1. To me he’s a tweener between a WR and TE, kind of like Vernon. Vernon’s route running has been questioned too, and I’m guessing that’s because of the body type. When you have a long stride and high center of gravity, cutting won’t be one of your strengths. Not saying I’m an expert at this, just trying to understand it. Both guys are great atheletes. Another point: On the highlights, when he runs, he accelerates quickly, kind of like Kap. I’m assuming his stride is the reason he is slow getting off the line, not because he needs to get stronger. Bottom line: Again, I’m doing a little guessing, wouldn’t his natural position be slot receiver or TE?

      2. By the way, it’s possible the right weight training could improve his burst. I remember Jacobs complimenting the trainers regarding this.

  44. thats why Baldwin was projected as a 2-3y project cuz of his route learning and getting of the line of scrimmage, but we have a great coachingstaff ;) the guy has more qualities and strengths than AJ

  45. Well, I suppose this could end up being a good trade for both teams – or it could be the next Sammy Davis/Rashaun Woods trade of #1 picks that didn’t benefit the Chargers or the 49ers.

  46. Tolzien outperformed McCoy all through Camp?

    Apparently you weren’t watching the KC game. While neither were very good, Tolzien made mistake after mistake. Would have been nice to see him bounce back from the Fumbled snap but he didn’t. At least McCoy is a mobile QB.

    Oh an Grant, dude, if you’re gonna pick on El Unce, at least do it when Kappy plays. If Baldwin had actually hung onto the ball when he’s hit in the numbers Smith would have probably had a solid day considering that he’s standing behind a young Line against one of the best Defenses in the NFL. I sure didn’t see Kappy have a good day against one of the developing Defenses against an experienced OLine. 1 series and out? How is ANY Receiver supposed to develop chemistry with his QB in that situation?

    1. McCoy is horrible in so many ways. Either he does not get the offense yet, or he has a diminished skillset that won’t get it done. Either way, he wasn’t worth a draft pick. Bad trade.

      The INT he threw against the Chiefs was a junior high school throw. It was totally brutal.

      1. I was surprised by the throw too, but in the end I think they keep him. He would probably play much better if he had the first oline. And then there’s game experience, familiarity with read-option, and some speed.

      2. Understanding I should owe you a weeks supply of rice-a-roni for defending the Jenkins pick, indulge me so I can pose the question this…

        If there was a 12 round draft would you still say McCoy wasn’t worth a pick?

        According to my draft value chart (the older one fashioned after Jimmy Johnson’s chart) it only cost the 49ers a measly 8 points to get him.

      3. Grant, so who do you predict will be the 49ers #2 QB this season? Tolzein or Daniels?

        I think Tolzein is a smart guy and probably going to be a QB coach some day a la Bill Musgrave, but for a QB in the 49er offense going on his 3rd season, I still think the best game I saw him play was when he was in a Chargers uniform.

  47. “First of all, Baalke gave up nothing for him, unless you consider Jenkins something.”……makes millions of $$ in america has to be something.

    hate the game not the player………i still think there is no way with that kind of speed he can’t be valuable player on a team……..a team that uses him properly……..

    Grant needs to chill, you talk about Jenkins as if he never played football his whole life…..”eazy; slow your roll”…..

  48. Belichick thoughts: When former Patriots director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff asked Belichick what he thought about his pending move up 21 spots in exchange for his own first-rounder and an additional four picks (first, second, and two fourths) to pick Alabama receiver Julio Jones, Belichick told Dimitroff he wouldn’t do it, according to “War Room” by Michael Holley. Belichick thought there wasn’t a big difference between Jones and Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin, who went 26th to former Patriots personnel director Scott Pioli with the Chiefs. Jones has 133 catches for 2,157 yards and 12 touchdowns; Baldwin 41 for 579 and two touchdowns. Of course, Jones had Matt Ryan throwing to him and Baldwin had Matt Cassel.

  49. This report says that he runs most of the route tree and especially: the nine route, but is also used on shallow and intermediate crosses. Willing to sit down in the zone over the middle. Gives head fake to get inside position on skinny post and seam. Could tighten up his footwork, rounds into and out of crossing routes instead of plant-and-driving. Must prove the quickness to run jerk routes inside.

  50. I don’t usually feel the need to comment on these BLOGS, I really wanted to hand out some kudos to JPN001. Wow, yours analysis and writing is impressively first-rate. Your points are based on sound logic and facts, not just emotion and “wishful thinking”. I think Grant could learn a little something from you. Please keep up your contributions to the discussions. Just curious, were you a rhetoric, or philosophy major in college?

    1. Thank you, Sonoma. My educational background includes degrees in English, anthropology, linguistics and law. I have taught writing, literature and critical thinking at the college level for over fifteen years, and I am a licensed attorney, although I am employed in education and rarely actually practice law.

      As for Grant, I enjoy his writing. He is a technically proficient writer who has great audience awareness. He never writes above his general audience (a skill with which I struggle) while maintaining the interest of more sophisticated readers. He is an opinion journalist, and thus I do not expect to see well constructed academic arguments when I read his pieces (nor should I – academic arguments make for horrible journalism). I expect thought provoking pieces that force the reader to look at a situation from a perspective that is different from his/her own perspective and/or divergent from conventional wisdom. And most of the time, Grant delivers on those expectations.

      That is not to say I always agree with Grant — I frequently do not (for example, I will be quite shocked if the Cowboys are a Super Bowl contender, as Grant has predicted). I think he can be too quick to form conclusions when the proper foundation has not yet been laid, and he has a habit of massaging his supporting evidence to fit his conclusion (a problem he shares with many academics I have known). However, I see less of these issues as Grant matures, and at this point, I find that most of the supposed “factual errors” he makes are a product of his interpretation of the facts rather than “bold [sic] faced lies,” (per a poster’s claim above).

      1. JPN
        I’ve enjoyed your comments for their clear thinking and football content. Your writing is, I suppose, like a good Ref; it proceeds smoothly and efficiently and therefore can go unnoticed. So the critical thinking and structure and semantics are well displayed, but every teacher or professor I’ve encountered always stressed being concise. ; >)
        I did enjoy your critique of Grant’s writing skills. His father is a pretty good wordsmith too.

      2. I do not know about the football content my comments offer, Brotha. My football knowledge lags far behind many posters here, and I admit to not being well versed on many technical aspects of the game. My actual experience playing organized football is limited to my sophomore and junior years in high school. I was an ok JV middle LB when I was a sophomore (pretty fast and a hard hitter, albeit a little short), but a horrible varsity strong safety when I was a junior (bad pass coverage skills and the second slowest, but hardest hitting, safety on the team – I would have preferred to remain a LB, but I was behind several taller and bigger guys). I did always enjoy ST, especially kickoff coverage.

        As for writing, I do advocate conciseness in writing to my students, most of whom need to be directed away from a propensity for filling their writing with tangential information. However, as brevity for the sake of brevity often limits the artistry and the completeness of the writing, I eschew the practice myself unless forced to do otherwise, such as when unreasonable courts limit briefs to a certain number of pages (or when a certain professor I had in grad school arbitrarily limited our papers to thirty or fewer pages). ;)

      3. JPN
        You’ve got me grinning. My profs we’re probably looking for a higher fact density level in my writing, hoping to distill out some or most of my bologna.

      4. JPN001,

        You are a welcome sight here and I wish you would contribute more often. We can learn a lot from your writing and communicating ability, not to mention your thoughts on the team.

  51. Aj Jenkins is set up for bigger failure. With Alex smith as his qb an his problems with getting open. There is NO way he catches more than 20 balls if he starts every game. Smith will not and has not thrown into coverage. It’s not a knock on smith but he is a safe qb. And Jenkins can’t seem to run openly. That alone is a better trade for the 49ers. I’d bet he doesn’t get 15 catches and less than 20 looks this season if he starts.

    1. Can’t take the bet …..Last time I got into a long argument with you at the roulette wheel over what is considered to be an odd number……..

      1. He also never caught one with smith either.
        Watching the chiefs game again. I can’t see AJ Jenkins beating anybody on the outside. You have I admit, Alex won’t force the ball in to a covered receiver.

  52. Grant,

    Your twitter pic looks like you’re on your 5th gin & tonic and you’re about to make a bad decision with a girl named Tammy Lynn.

    AWESOME! To be young again.

  53. TB gets no credit …….just like TK wrote (because I believe the coaching staff had decided that Jenkins wasn’t going to play–as they decided last year–even if he was on the roster)………the trade was more from the coaches not TB

  54. “Baalke’s entire 2012 draft was bad”…. That is my biggest problem with this whole article… Just because Jenkins was a bad pick doesn’t make the whole 2012 draft a bust… LaMichael James…. Need I say more?… Probably will need to say more huh… That pick was a Steal… Beyond James we have a couple players, Joe Looney & Cam Johnson, that on other teams would probably be starters… The 49ers just didn’t need them last year as much & they were solid back-ups …. Plus there were some injured players, Darius Fleming & undrafted Jewel Hampton, who may get their chance to contribute this year… So it is wayyyyyyy too early to judge them or let alone the complete draft class… Lets see what they do over a longer period of time & see if they get more playing time… The 49ers have great starters at many positions so they didn’t need the draft picks to contribute as much early on…

  55. When is the column coming on Colt McCoy and Tolzien coming? They both have looked less than stellar – to put it nicely. SMH over Baalke thinking McCoy was worth getting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>