With all the talk of San Francisco 49ers‘ wide receiver A.J. Jenkins potentially getting cut, the news of the team trading him to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday came as a bit of a surprise. However, when you look at the other player involved, Jonathan Baldwin, it all makes sense.
Both wide receivers have struggled this offseason and clearly in the past as well. The 49ers had obviously seen enough of their 2012 first round pick to know that he wasn’t going to make their final roster, so I like their decision to get something in return. Baldwin is a young guy with a ton of talent that he’s never been able to harness on Sundays. Now, both guys have fresh starts with new teams. Baldwin will get a new quarterback, while Jenkins will be reunited with his signal-caller from year ago.
It’s not all that often that you see trades in the NFL and especially not trades of this nature. Young receivers with lots of potential rarely get dealt and definitely not in a ‘swap’ situation like we’re seeing here between the Niners and Chiefs.
As far as who got the better end of the deal, I’m leaning towards San Francisco. If Jenkins was playing badly enough to potentially get cut just one year after being a first round pick, that really speaks volumes about him. Baldwin, to me, is a player who just doesn’t have his head on straight yet. All you have to do is watch him for one series to know how good he could be. I thought Andy Reid would be able to get him in order, but maybe Jim Harbaugh will have better luck?
Either way, I don’t think this trade really benefits the Chiefs or 49ers that much in the short-term. One of these guys might take off in 2013, but it seems unlikely based on what we know about them so far. But again, If I had to pick one to take a chance on, Baldwin would be my choice.