Jim Harbaugh addressed the media Monday at 49ers headquarters.
“As you know we’ve traded [WR] A.J. Jenkins to Kansas City for [WR] Jonathan Baldwin. And, feel like it’s a fresh start for both young men and hopefully it can be a positive for both of them and for the two teams.”
Did you know that 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?
“No, not on Friday.”
Did 49ers general manager Trent Baalke start talking with Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey on Friday about this, about the trade possibility?
“I don’t think there’s any importance to timeline. The people we talked to and then the idea came, whose idea it was, etc. etc. Where we stand right now is … both players are on planes, A.J. heading to Kansas City and Jonathan Baldwin heading here to San Francisco where they will both take physicals. If both pass, then Jonathan will be a 49er, A.J. will be a Chief and I anticipate that that will happen. Both appear to be in excellent physical condition.”
Almost a year ago you gave a really strong statement about A.J., what happened? Why didn’t things work out?
“A.J., the why and that kind of thing, I’ll just speak from personal experience. I was rejected by a team, sent to another team and then with the next team my signature years came. So it can be a real positive and 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 and there’s no reason that both these guys can’t end up having a great career. Another example, won’t use myself but we’ll use the great [WR] Cris Carter. Receiver in Philadelphia, Buddy Ryan sent him to Minnesota and then a Hall of Fame career ensued. Those are opportunities that both of these young men have and I think they definitely have the ability and license to get that done.”
Is two weeks enough time to fully evaluate Baldwin to see if he deserves a shot on the 53-man roster?
“We’ll do the best that we possibly can, we’ll see. To really start talking, ‘what ifs’ and ‘if this, if that,’ ‘what if,’ let’s let the two pass the physical and be a 49er or be a Kansas City Chief. And then we can start talking about some of those things.”
Baldwin has seemingly all the measurables; great size, great speed, can jump, before you get a real good look at him, is he pretty intriguing to you? Do you see the wide receiver he could possibly be?
Have you seen much of him?
“I’ve known about Jonathan Baldwin since he was a junior in high school, Aliquippa High School.”
RB Tony Dorsett’s high school.
“His dad played with him.”
Have you talked to Buccaneers special teams coordinator and former Pitt Panthers head coach Dave Wannstedt about him?
What advantage do the 49ers get out of this trade?
What advantage do the 49ers get out of this trade, to make this?
“I think the advantage is of what both teams and both players can get out of it. Opportunity, a fresh start, getting a chance to show what kind of players they are.”
Did you recruit Baldwin?
“I said I’ve known about him since he was a junior in high school.”
How, how did you know?
“Very aware of him. He was the number one receiver as a junior in the country in high school football. And then more so, my brother-in-law [Indiana University Men’s Basketball head coach] Tom Crean, who was at Marquette at the time, heavily recruited Jonathan to Marquette. That was the only non-football school that Jonathan was considering at the time was Marquette. At the end, decided to go to Pitt. He was Tom’s number one basketball recruit that year.”
What about the overall play of your wide receivers, where they’re at and how does that have any impact on your other decisions, your quarterback? Is it making your job a little tougher?
“As far as the wide receiver position, it’s been very competitive. I detailed that out pretty well yesterday. As far as the quarterbacks position, also very competitive. On an even keel at this point between the three youngsters that we have on the team. Every day is valuable, every day is important, every day is a competitive environment and opportunity both at wide receiver and quarterback.”