Earlier today, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers front offices agreed to trade 3rd year Wide Receiver Jon Baldwin to the San Francisco 49ers in return for 2nd year Wide Receiver A.J. Jenkins.
The trade came only days after yet another thoroughly disappointing pre-season performance by Baldwin, which preceded an already lackluster pre-season and training camp. This indicates that the Chiefs coaching staff and front office had believed Baldwin to be a ‘bust’ even more than was first thought. Baldwin has had a disappointing career since being drafted by the Scott Pioli and co. in the 1st round in 2011, but not many would have expected a trade to have been made this early in the season.
In return for dealing out Baldwin, the Chiefs acquire former 1st round (2012) wide receiver A.J. Jenkins from the 49ers. Despite only having been in the NFL for one season so far, Jenkins has also been labelled a ‘bust’ due to his inability to make the field during his rookie season. This makes the two young wide receivers situations very similar in that they were both highly touted players coming out of college, but have not been able to produce at an NFL level.
While this trade was quite unexpected, it is completely understandable and makes sense. What this trade means, is a fresh start for both Baldwin and Jenkins, on new teams, with a new coaching staff to work under. Though it is doubtful that either player will live up to their once high expectations, a change of scenery such as this could at least encourage a slight improvement if nothing else in their on-field performances.
For the Chiefs and 49ers, this trade was a means of simply salvaging what was once a first round talent, in return for a second chance at a player that may make an impact for their team.
A.J. Jenkins has not officially been given a set spot on the depth chart as of this moment. However it is doubtful he will be given the same spot as Baldwin had, 2nd string. By default, the 2nd string wide receiver role is now Donnie Avery’s job to lose.