USAToday A.J. Jenkins is going to get a fresh start. The San Francisco 49ers traded their former first-round draft pick to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn’t final. A short time later, the Chiefs announced Jenkins had been dealt for fellow receiver Jon Baldwin, another former first-round pick who has struggled to make an impact in the NFL.
In a trade that gives two former first round picks fresh starts, the 49ers and Chiefs swapped wide receivers, who were once talented prospects but failed to produce in the NFL. The Chiefs drafted Jon Baldwin with the 26th pick of the 2011 draft out of Pittsburgh, the 6’4 230lbs Baldwin looks the part of an NFL star, but he has caught just 49 passes for 571 yards and two touchdowns in two seasons with the Chiefs. The 49ers selected A.J. Jenkins with the 30th pick in the 2012 draft out of Illinois, but he did not catch a pass as a rookie, and had disappointed the 49ers during this preseason. Both players were in need of a change of scenery, and there is hope that Baldwin can become a red zone weapon for the receiver-needy 49ers right away (Crabtree and Manningham are both out until at least week 7), while Jenkins’ speed may be a good fit in Andy Reid’s offense in Kansas City. Jenkins will be reunited with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in Kansas City, the two were teammates on the 49ers last year, and are very familiar with each other after lots of time spent together on the 49ers scout team and bench.