The Kansas City Chiefs have traded Jonathan Baldwin to the San Francisco 49ers for A.J Jenkins. Baldwin was the Chiefs first-round draft pick in the 2011 NFL draft and was slated to be the starting wide receiver opposite Dwayne Bowe this season. If you thought Jenkins would slide right in and start right away you would be wrong. Jenkins is at least a year away from competing for the job. So who you ask is going to fill in for the Chiefs? The answer is Donnie Avery.
Avery is one of the Chiefs’ many free agent acquisitions this past offseason. He is a speed burner that played for the St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, and Indianapolis Colts in the past four seasons. In three of those seasons, he has provided good number three wide receiver numbers, averaging 680 yards. Baldwin, on the other hand, had only 579 yards total in two seasons.
The key for the number two wide receiver in Andy Reid‘s system is to be able to stretch the field vertically. Baldwin, although big and physical, hasn’t shown the deep threat ability that Reid covets in his wide receivers. The Chiefs view Avery as a quality starter. Reid said:
“One of the things John [Dorsey] and I talked about, we knew A.J. is going to have to come in and learn, so we had to feel comfortable that Donnie is a legitimate starter and we felt that. We felt that when we brought him here and then we felt it since he’s been here that he can be a quality starter on our football team. We were able to do this and feel comfortable doing it.”
The Chiefs thought highly enough of Avery to trade Baldwin away. That is saying something. Let’s hope for the Chiefs’ sake that saying it turns into doing it on the field, because the Chiefs are already lacking depth at the wide receiver position.