SANTA CLARA – Jim Harbaugh spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Monday morning. Here’s what he said.
HARBAUGH: As you know, we’ve traded A.J. Jenkins to Kansas City for Jonathan Baldwin. Feel like it’s a fresh start for both young men. Hopefully, it will be a positive for both of them and for the two teams.
Q: Did you know that was a possibility going into Friday’s game? Were you able to look at Baldwin in a we-might-be-trading-for-this-guy sense?
HARBAUGH: No, not on Friday.
Q: Did Trent Baalke start talking with John Dorsey about the trade possibility Friday?
HARBAUGH: I don’t think there is any importance to timeline, when people were talking, when the idea came, whose idea it was, etc. Where we stand right now is both players are on planes, A.J. headed to Kansas City and Jonathan Baldwin headed here to San Francisco where they will both take physical. If both pass, then Jonathan will be a 49er and A.J. will be a Chief. Anticipate that that will happen. Both appear to be in excellent shape.
Q: A year ago, you gave a really strong statement about A.J. What happened? Why didn’t things work out?
HARBAUGH: The why, that kind of thing…I just speak from personal experience. I was rejected by a team, sent to another team and with the next team my signature years came. So, it can be a real positive. That’s what everybody hopes for in this situation. A.J. is a very talented player. He has never been an issue or a problem as a teammate. He competes. He works very hard. There is no reason that both these guys can’t end up having a great career.
Another example, I won’t use myself but I’ll use the great Cris Carter, receiver in Philadelphia. Buddy Ryan sent him to Minnesota and then a Hall of Fame career ensued. Those are opportunity both these young men have. They definitely have that ability and license to get that done.
Q: Is two weeks enough time to fully evaluate Baldwin and see if he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster?
HARBAUGH: We’ll do the best we possibly can. We’ll see. To really start talking what-ifs, let’s have the two pass the physical and be a 49er or be a Chief and then we can start talking about some of those things.
Q: Baldwin has all of the measurable – great size, great speed, he can jump. Is he pretty intriguing to you?
Q: Have you seen much of him?
HARBAUGH: I’ve known about Jonathan Baldwin since he was a junior in high school, Aliquippa High School.
Q: How did you know about him?
HARBAUGH: He was the No.1 receiver as junior in the country in high school football. And then my brother-in-law, Tom Crean, who was at Marquette at the time, heavily recruited Jonathan to Marquette. That was the only non-football school Jonathan was considering. At the end, he decided to go to Pitt, but he was Tom’s No.1 basketball recruit that year.